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Ward vs Bika - Post Fight Conference

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Andre Ward during the post fight conference, after his victory over Sakio Bika, said that he had injured his left index finger a couple weeks ago, and getting it fixed might delay his fight with Arthur Abraham.

Showtime and Dan Goossen, Ward’s promoter, have talked about a Ward vs Abraham in March, in one of the Super Six semifinals, but Ward said that may not be possible.

“There’s something in there that’s floating around,” said Ward, who added that injury caused some discomfort. “I’m not sure if it’s a tendon or a bone or what, but it’s got to be fixed and right before my next fight. My left hand’s a good weapon and I’m not going in there without it being right.”

Goossen, pointed out that he never felt enthusiastic about the match-up with the Australian resident and native of Cameroon.

“I didn’t like this fight,” Goossen said. “It was great to have it at Oracle Arena here in Oakland, but there was a lot of risk and very little reward. As you saw, Bika’s a tough, dangerous fighter. With someone like Kessler, who has a big name, it’s different because there was risk and reward. If you have a lot of risk, you want to have a lot of reward, but Andre won and it was good for him to have a tough fight like that.

In the fight Ward, was cut over both eyes in what Goossen referred to as  “a rough-and-tumble, down-in-the-dirt fight,” said he expected that the cuts would heal in plenty of time to fight in March.

Ward, who said all his cuts were caused by headbutts, elbows and other fouls, said less inside fighting could have been to his advantage.

“Maybe I could have made it an easier fight,” said Ward, Sometimes I want to mix it up. I like to fight.” - “I can be mean.”

While he hopes to be physically able to fight in four months, he’s ready to have a break and a holiday cruise with the family and get back to training camp early next year.

“Why not?,” he said. “Things are going pretty good so I want to stay on that roll. You want to be in a rhythm in a fight and as a fighter, and I don’t like the long layoffs and delays.”

Ward said fighting the native of Cameroon was great preparation for a fight with Abraham.

 “The way it turned out, this was a perfect fight for a guy like that,” he said.

Bika, who spoke briefly at the press conference, said Ward was a tougher opponent than Lucien Bute, who earned a unanimous decision over the native of Cameroon in a 2007 fight.

“Andre Ward is a great warrior,” Bika said. “He fought very well.”

Ronnie Shields, Bika’s trainer, said his fighter did everything he could.

“Sakio fought the best fight he could fight, but Andre Ward was a little bit better,” Shields said.

Ward was far from satisfied.

“I’m disappointed because I wanted to look better,” he said. “I wanted it to be a cleaner fight.”

“You have to learn to deal with every style and sometimes you don’t look great,” Ward said. “You have to be aware of that and get the win and learn from it.”

Ward, said “Bika’s tough and he’s rough and he never stops coming so it was hard to do what I wanted to do as well as I wanted to do it,” he said.

Bika, 31, wore down as the fight progressed, Ward said, but there was always a risk of trouble. “Around the fifth or sixth round, I started to be able to walk him down a little bit,” the 27-year-old said. “He was tired, but he’s a guy who will put his head down and swing for the fences.”

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Ward got big cheers from the hometown crowd as he easily avoided Bika’s big swings and cracked him with counters, but Goossen acknowledged that the announced attendance of 4,120 was a lot smaller than he would have preferred.

Although it was a hometown fight for Ward, attendance suffered for the short preparation time and the fight taking place over the Thanksgiving weekend, he said.

“We only had about four and a half weeks to do everything before the fight and normally we have eight weeks, but that’s the way it was,” Goossen said. The crowd was great, though and they sounded like a much bigger crowd. Promoting the fight was like the fight itself; it’s not always as easy as you want, but you have to cope with various things and I think it was clear that the people who came out had a great time.”

Ward, who has attended NBA basketball games at the venue, said it feels good to experience events there as a participant.

“Walking in to see a game, I know how it feels as a fan to be excited about coming here to see that and see the players so when I come here and see fans who’ve come to see me, that feels nice.”

Goossen said the Ward vs. Abraham fight won’t be held in Oakland and that there have been no serious discussions about a possible location.

Ward however did say - “I’ve always wanted to fight in Las Vegas.”