On March 26 Andre Ward will make his 175 pound debut when he takes on undefeated Cuban contender Sullivan Barrera. The former US Olympic Gold Medalist first came to prominence in the professional ranks when he emerged victorious in the Super Six Boxing Classic. This unique one of a kind tournament saw Ward dominate many top fighters from the time, including tournament favorites Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham, as well as Carl ‘The Cobra; Froch, whom Ward thoroughly outclassed in the tournament Final.
After winning the Super Six, Ward’s potential reached new heights and many boxing observers had extremely high hopes for him. But he has only fought 3 times since then as a result of injuries, promotional issues, and some questionable career decisions. He passed on an opportunity to face Lucian Bute back when it would have been a very hot ticket. He would instead go on to dominate then light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, but received little credit in the aftermath because Dawson appeared weight drained after coming down to meet Ward at 168. Ward had a very good victory against a game Edwin Rodriguez, and more recently, a dominant effort against lightly regarded Paul Smith, but neither of these victories are held in particularly high regard.
Barrera will present a true challenge for Ward as he attempts to make a statement as he ventires into his new weight class. Like Ward himself, Barrera has an outstanding amateur pedigree. To date, he has done everything that’s been expected of him in the professional ranks, and has made a tremendous account of himself in recent bouts with Karo Murat, Hakim Zoulikha, and Jeff Lacy. Barrera has a good jab, has good all around quickness, a high and consistent activity rate, a soluid ring IQ, and has shown great aptitude when delivering a wide variety of punches with varying levels of speed and power which helps keep opponents guessing. Barrera is taller than Ward, and naturally bigger having successfully campaigned at a higher weight class.
How will Andre Ward be able to cope with Sullivan Barrera and what the aspiring Cuban contender brings to the table? This fight should answer an awful lot of questions regarding both boxers.
To see Rumsfeld’s official preview and prediction, please watch this edition of Rummy’s Corner, where Rummy gives his breakdown on the situation for this very intriguing clash of light heavyweights, which will be televised on HBO March 26. Hope you enjoy the video!