Dawson is home and ready to fight
Article and Photos by Alex Pierpaoli (April 1, 2005)  
Photos © Alex Pierpaoli, DHB
It has been four years since the state of Connecticut held a boxing match. Even though fists have been thrown for pay many times at Connecticut casinos, those bouts occur on Native American soil. So it is with extra care and attention to procedure that the Connecticut Athletic Commission comes to, what is in all respects, a high school gym; albeit a magnificent facility in New Haven’s City-Wide Fieldhouse at Hill House High School. Connecticut’s finest officials and ring-physicians, who usually work on Tribal grounds, will be working in the city of New Haven, specifically the Hill section of the Elm City, in hopes of rekindling the city’s relationship with the Sweet Science.

What better way to do it than featuring one of the city’s own in the main event?

Chad Dawson, former Hill House student and current middleweight contender had to sweat off nearly half a pound in order to make the 160 pound limit for tonight’s defense of his WBC Youth Title. Both Dawson and opponent Efrain Garcia, of McAllen Texas, weighed 160.4 pounds and were given two hours to make the 160 pound limit required by the WBC. Dawson, 16-0 (11), will qualify for a shot against WBC International Title-holder, James Obede Toney of Ghana, should he beat Efrain Garcia, currently 17-4-1(11).

After a little over an hour, both main event boxers made the weight and a brief press conference was held in which promoter Jimmy Burchfield introduced the fighters on the card. To Burchfield’s right, Chad Dawson sat quietly with his son, Prince Chadwick, on his lap. The father and son duo took turns sipping from a bottle of PowerAde to help Dad re-hydrate.

Burchfield described the bouts to be held tonight and introduced world renowned trainer/manager Jackie Kallen who was on site with her charge, Matt Remillard. Much heralded as an amateur, Remillard will make his pro debut on tonight’s undercard.

Burchfield went on to introduce Chad Dawson and commented on his middleweight’s homecoming. “It’s good to fight in your hometown but it’s an awful lot of work to be able to do that.”

When Bad Chad stepped up to the mike his words were brief but emphatic.

“The day is finally here, in less than 24 hours. What can I say? I made the weight. I’m ready. I’m hungry. I’m ready to go eat. Get that muscle weight back. I’ll see you all tomorrow night at the fights. I won’t let nobody down.”

Other fighters on the New Haven card are light heavyweight knockout artist, Joey Spina, undefeated cruiserweight Matt Godfrey, South Boston super middleweight Joe “Sugar” Rea, and former heavyweight Olympian, Jason Estrada, in his second outing as a professional.

Tonight’s card will be carried live via “Guilty Fight Night” in countries worldwide. CN8, the Comcast Network, will air the taped event on Saturday, April 9 at 9pm ET.
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