UPDATE: Chad Dawson Quits on his feet in round 10 after knockdown. Ward was just too much for Dawson and he completely dominated the fight after the first round. Dawson hinted at feeling sluggish after the fight having to come down in weight. Stated that he, “couldn’t get off my punches”, which was very evident by the lopsided punch count; 155/418 Ward, 29/187 Dawson. In the end, Ward was just the better man this night.
Tonight’s Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) and Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) fight has the makings of a great one. Both fighters have all kinds of talent and both are in the prime stages of their careers. Neither is a devastating one punch knockout threat but both possess great athletic ability. Rarely in boxing these days do we see such intriguing matchups. We will in all likelihood never see Pacquiao, Mayweather. And even if we do, both are on the down slopes of their careers. It will not be the fight it could have been. Though that’s not to say it couldn’t be an entertaining fight, a la Hagler-Leonard. But in tonight’s fight both men are in peak shape and have a lot to prove. So what are the main issues? Well, the most obvious issue is Chad Dawson coming down from light heavyweight to super middleweight. There are two schools of thinking here. One, if Dawson did not lose the weight in a controlled and monitored way, over time, he might be zapped of some of his strength. Two, as a bona-fide light heavyweight, his power may be too much to deal with for the smaller Ward. I personally do not feel weight will be an issue. What will determine the outcome of this match will be the ring smarts of Andre Ward vs the ability of Dawson to impose his will and remain focussed. Chad Dawson, because of his weight, height and reach advantage will have the physical edge. Ward, because of his ring smarts, will have the strategy advantage. Ward, has few faults in the ring and would be tought to pick apart, hence, his undefeated record. Dawson on the other hand, tends to lose focus in fights. That won’t be a factor in this, the biggest fight of his career. Ultimately, whichever man can execute his game plan best, will win the fight. One thing is certain, both more are warriors and therefore, this fight has the potential to be fight of the year.