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Sakio Bika-The Gladiator


BoztheMadman
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Sakio Bika was a world class super middleweight who had a misfortune of fighting in the same era as Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward. This native of Cameroon gave Calzaghe and Ward tough fights with his very rough and physical fighting style, but ultimately failed to win. He captured the WBC title, holding it for a year, before losing it to then newcomer Anthony Dirrell. 
 

Born in Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, on 18 April 1979, he stands 5’11 and a half inch or 182 cm and has a reach of 71 inches or 180 cm. As amateur, Bika competed for his country at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where he was eliminated in the first round against Scott McIntosh of Canada, 5-8 on points, at light middleweight. After that, he stayed in Sydney and obtained Australian citizenship, before turning professional 15 December 2000, fighting as a middleweight at first. He won his first fight by disqualification against 3-0 Ivan Vakulyuk. After going 10-0 with 7 knockouts, he was upset by Sam Soliman on 15 October 2002, losing by a majority decision in a fight for the IBF Pan Pacific title. Soliman was far more experienced with 22 fights under his belt and a tough, dodgy fighter. 
 

He continued winning and in 2005 he switched to super middleweight, winning his first fight there against Juarne Dowling by TKO6. After also knocking out Yoshihiro Araki in 5, he got a fight for the WBC title against champion Markus Beyer of Germany and fought him there on 13 May 2006, but the fight ended too soon after an accidental clash of heads led to Beyer developing a bad cut in round 4. Under WBC rules, the fight was declared a technical draw, despite Bika winning all the rounds on one scorecard. It wasn’t the first time for Beyer that he retained his world title this way. However, Bika got another title fight soon thereafter, this time for three different ones-IBF, WBO and The Ring. His opponent was the best fighter in the division back then and probably of all times: Joe Calzaghe. They faced off on 14 October at Manchester Arena and Bika gave Calzaghe a tough fight, but ultimately lost by too wide scores in a fight that surely was closer.

Next year, he was chosen to participate in the third season of The Contender, a boxing reality show. He eventually progressed to the final where he stopped Jaidon Codrington in a great fight in the eight round, after both were down in the first. He got 750 K. He returned to regular boxing in November 2008 against another former The Contender contestant, Peter Manfredo Jr, who had previously been stopped by Calzaghe in 3 rounds. Bika did the same thing by hitting him with several power shots to the head in the third until the referee jumped in. He thus proved his worth, because Manfredo was still a solid fighter and would never be stopped so early again. Also, Calzaghe stoppage was by many thought to have been premature. 31 July 2010 he lost by disqualification in 1 round against Jean-Paul Mendy after hitting Mendy while down. He went on to fight Lucian Bute and get knocked out, while Bika landed a fight against WBA champion and the new great name at 168: Andre Ward.  The fight happened on 27 November same year at Mandalay Bay and Bika performed admirably against the super slick Ward, throwing over 600 punches and landing 201, but Ward was just too defensively strong and clever and won in the end by lopsided scores. 
 

On 2 June 2012, Bika fought on the undercard of Tarver vs Kayode fight and stopped Dyah Davis by TKO10 to win the NABF and WBO Intercontinental belts. 16 February next year, he defeated the technician Nikola Sjekloca (25-0 at the time) of Serbia to win the WBC eliminator and then on 22 June he fought against 20-0 Marco Antonio Periban of Mexico for the vacant title at Barclays. He was victorious after 12 rounds and FINALLY, after 12 years and four attempts, he was now a world champion! He made his first defense against the 25-0 young Lion Anthony Dirrell, brother of Andre, 7 December that same 2013. After getting floored once in round five, the fight went to the scorecards and Bika retained his title with a split draw. Because of the controversy, they had to fight again and did on 16 August 2014, at SubHub Center in Carson. This time, Bika got a point deducted for a low blow and lost his title by a mostly clear UD. 
 

He ventured into his final division, light heavyweight, where he fought the WBC champion Adonis Stevenson, a Jamaican-Canadian puncher, on 4 April 2015 in Quebec City, Canada. The teak tough Bika lasted the distanace but lost by the scores of 111-115, 110-116 and 110-115. He then returned to 168 and won the WBC Asian Continental title by stopping Luke Sharp by TKO7 in Wollongong, Australia, 8 July 2017. On 22 October that year, he also beat the tough Geard Ajetovic, a Serbian based in England, by UD to win the vacant WBC Silver International title. He came back to the ring one more time on 31 March 2021 and avenged his first loss to Sam Soliman by winning by UD8 in Newcastle, Australia. After altogether 20 years and 45 fights, the Cameroonian strongman finally retired at the age of 42 and with a record of 36 wins, 22 by ko, 7 losses and 1 disputed draw. 
 

He was known under the alias of THE SCORPION while boxing. Sakio Bika was a rough and tough and strong fighter who always gave it all in the ring and could only be outboxed, not outmuscled or outslugged. He never got stopped and was only knocked down once, against Anthony Dirrell. He was simply a formidable warrior, who loved to rough up his opponents and fight on the inside, but lacked the finesse to win against the most clever fighters. He never stopped trying and in the end succeeded in becoming a world champion, which is of course a great example to young fighters. He can look back at his career with satisfaction and pride. 
 

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On 12/7/2023 at 5:02 PM, LondonRingRules said:

- - Dirty fighter supreme, he met his dirty fighter match vs Ward, perhaps the ugliest fights I've ever witnessed.

Shoulda been a double DQ!!! by the end of the 4th round.

 

As soon as I saw the name I thought dirty. His head was an extra weapon. Tough man though and a hard night for any fighter. Ward was dirty as well.

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