No doubt about it. Undefeated WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (22-0, with 13 KOs) will find himself in very tough bout against 168 pound contender Sakio Bika (28-4-2, with 19 KOs) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, on November 27th.
Don’t let the blemishes on the challenger’s record fool you because for those of you who may be unfamiliar with him, Bika is a hard as nails fighter similar in style to former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson. Although currently fighting out of Australia, Sakio Bika is originally from Cameroon, and is widely defined for his fight three years ago in The Contender television series finals against Jaidon Codrington; an opponent who at the time was rebuilding his career and on the rise in many rankings.
To say the fight with Codrington was exciting would be a gross understatement. This was Arturo Gatti – Micky Ward type stuff contested in a higher weight class between two guys with arguably more talent. From the first round when both men were dropped to the canvas until the bout’s conclusion in the eighth round when referee Dick Flaherty saved Codrington from absorbing any more punishment, the fight was a classic slugfest in every sense of the word. It was an incredibly memorable fight for anyone privileged enough to witness the all-out carnage. Although the encounter between the two essentially ended Jaidon Codrington’s career, it was expected to propel Sakio Bika on to bigger and better opportunities.
But since that memorable night at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, MA, the Australian from Cameroon has been relatively inactive for different reason, having only four matches since the latter part of 2007. In his most recent bout, Bika seemed well on his way to a quick first round stoppage of undefeated Jean Paul Mendy in a title elimination bout last July, but he was disqualified for slugging his already downed opponent.
While Andre Ward is expected to have his hands full against Bika in his hometown during the SHOWTIME televised match, the champion seemed at ease during a press conference on Tuesday and indicated he will come into the ring with bad intentions.
“Sakio has never been stopped,” said Ward. “It would be great to get a stoppage in this fight.”
On what the champion expects Bika to present come the 27th, Ward had this to say.
“Bika will come full steam ahead with wild punches.
“Sakio Bika is the same fighter (today) as when he fought Lucian Bute. His fighting style has awarded him a lot of merit and respect for his grittiness.”
Ward suggested his plan to deal with Bika’s aggressive style will be based on his proven ability to adapt in the ring.
“I am going to continue to do what I do and that is a little bit of everything,” said Ward. “With Bika, depending on what he does, I’ll know how to adjust and what I need to do.”