By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing. - On September 8 in Oakland, Ca. WBC light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson will tangle with undefeated WBA and WBC super middleweight champion Andre “S.O.G” Ward in a true battle of world champions.
re-captured the light heavyweight belt in his last bout when he
defeated future Hall of Fame inductee Bernard Hopkins by a unanimous
decision. The fight was neither enjoyable, nor a walk in the park, for
the 29-year-old Dawson. Hopkins, who was 47 years old at the time of the
bout, knows all the tricks of the trade. His ability to parry punches
and stay out of harms way is extraordinary for a man his age. Dawson
stuck to his game plan throughout the 12-rounder.
“The keys were
keeping him off balance with the jab and keeping him on the defensive,”
said Dawson from his training camp in Las Vegas. “Also making him
uncomfortable and making him feel like he couldn’t do anything he
wanted. And most of all, staying focused and not letting him take me off
my game plan.”
Though proud of defeating Hopkins – in what was a
rematch of an earlier no contest, Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) has kept the
victory in perspective.
“I’m 29 years-old and he’s 47, so I mean, I feel like I did like I was supposed to do that night,” Dawson said.
September 8, Dawson will be facing a fighter who some say is a younger
version of Hopkins. Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) swept through his competition in
last years Super Six tournament, culminating in a masterful decision
victory over Carl Froch.
Dawson was impressed.
great fighter. He’s obviously the best 168 pound fighter in the world,”
Dawson said without hesitation. “He proved that in the Super Six
tournament. I had my eye on him for years. I always knew that one day we
would be fighting.
“I knew I wanted to go back down to 168
pounds and see what it feels like to fight at that weight again," added
Dawson."So after I beat Bernard, I figured why not. They accepted the
challenge and we’re ready to go.”
The three-time, light-heavyweight champion respects Wards versatility.
can pretty much adapt to any style," said Dawson. “You could see that
in the Super Six. Every fighter had a different style, and he was able
to adapt and do well. Also, it’s his will to win. That’s why I think
this is going to be a great fight. He’s willing to win, he’s willing to
come in and fight, and I’m willing to do the same thing. It’s going to
be a great fight.”
The question that many have asked, since the
fight was first announced, was why Dawson would call out Ward at
168-pounds instead of his own 175-pound limit.
“A lot of people
are saying I’m giving up to much by going to Oakland and fighting him at
168, “said Dawson. “I don’t diet much. I eat pretty much what I want to
eat. I’m not a natural 175 pounder. I’m come into camp at 180 pounds.
So, I’m eating to keep my weight. I think people are going to see that
when I hit the scales at 168 pounds.
“I think I’ll be better at
that weight. I think I’ll be faster. I’ll definitely be stronger, due to
the fact that I can get up to 185 pounds. I’ll be the bigger guy in the
ring. That’s my advantage. I’ll also have the height and the reach
advantage. I think I have some advantages too.”
Dawson, who was
born in Hartsville, SC, has fought 18 times in Connecticut where he
resides. He’s very comfortable venturing to Oakland to face Ward, who in
essence will have the home court advantage. Dawson has traveled twice
to Canada and Las Vegas to fight in his opponent’s backyard. Being on
the road hardly bothers him.
“The only thing that’s different
is the environment, “Dawson said. “You know that everybody is pretty
much going to be against you. You might have some fans in the building,
but it’s pretty much going to be an Andre Ward crowd. But as I’ve said, I
was willing to go over there. I was willing to go to Canada to fight
Pascal. I’m willing to travel to fight the best.”
last year with trainer John “Iceman” Scully. The two had worked
together early in Dawson’s career, but parted ways due to circumstances
beyond their control. Dawson is very comfortable with Scully.
everything is great,” said Dawson. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.
We work early and often together. I always wonder where I would have
been if hadn’t left Scully. I’m glad we’re back together.”
The trust between the fighter and trainer runs deep.
has to be trust with your trainer,” Dawson added. ”Scully is the kind
of guy that spends all night studying film on my opponents. When fight
night comes, I pretty much feel I know everything there is to know about
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