At the Oracle Arena, California, Andre Ward got back to business, taking care of a solid dance partner in Sullivan Barrera via Unanimous Decision. Final tallies came in at 117-109 (twice) and 117-108. Here at Boxing Base we had no problems turning in 118-110 for this Light Heavyweight contest.
Ward now improves to 29 wins, no defeats, 15 knockuts, while Sullivan Barrera picks up his first pro career blemish, dropping to 17 wins, 1 defeat, 12 knockouts.
After two cagey opening rounds, the action began to spice up, with Ward’s speed and cunning scoring him a knockdown in the 3rd courtesy of a counter-right hook to the temple. Barrera bounced back up, regrouped and immediately responded with a decent attack of his own, staving off a Ward onslaught.
Having had a good look at his foe, Ward began to increase his punch output following the 4th bell. From that point on, the fight didn’t turn into a classic of any sort, but did at least showcase why Ward is such a special talent. Ward, now 32, has arguably slowed down his tempo a notch or two, but his slickness, incredible timing, and eye for capitalizing on opponent’s weaknesses, remain very strong.
Barrera had his moments in this bout, but if we’re talking about clean, telling blows, they were few and far between. Ward’s defense was simply on another level. The ‘Son of God’ also set traps with zipping counter-hooks, a shot which served him well tonight. So Barrera was up against it, without question. Chasing shadows, coming last in exchanges, and generally paying for any mistakes he made.
The only low point in this affair – literally, in fact – was when Ward tagged Barrera below the belt in the 9th. Barrera collapsed to the floor and Ward was deducted a point for the infringement. With Ward still winning the round, it hardly did Barrera any favors, however; here at BB we still saw it 9-9.
Anyway, with Ward vs Barrera now done and dusted, we’re all clamouring to witness Ward’s upcoming showdown with Sergey Kovalev, right? And if the rumor mill is correct, that mega fight could be hitting our telly boxes in mid-November later this year. What happens in the meantime is fairly predictable: a bunch of 175-pound gap-fillers for both men, with Adonis Stevenson a million miles away.
But we’re patient. We’re boxing fans. We endure.
Give us your thoughts on Ward vs Barrera in the comments below, fight fans, plus the rest of the HBO card.