“Bad” Chad Dawson: “I’ll be the bigger guy in the ring. That’s my advantage.”
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (July 31, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Chad Dawson
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.

Dawson 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.

On 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.

“He’s a 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.

“He 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.”

Dawson reunited 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.    

“Yeah 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.

“There 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 my opponent.”

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