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Ward vs. Dawson

ESB Exclusive Interview with boxing trainer Virgil Hunter

“But as far as my personal opinion, and I think that I’m entitled to have my personal opinion like Steve Bunce or anybody else who’s a Joe Calzaghe fan—in my opinion we would have chewed him up!”—Virgil Hunter

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – Yesterday afternoon I was afforded the opportunity to speak with boxing trainer Virgil Hunter, who recently helped prepare and guide Andre Ward to his tremendous victory last weekend against ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson. Hunter shared his views on training and preparations for that fight, the action that unfolded in the match itself, and future plans for him and Ward. He also provided his unique insight for the upcoming middleweight showdown this Saturday night between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined here today by head trainer Virgil Hunter, who recently helped lead Andre Ward to his spectacular victory against Chad Dawson last weekend. How’s everything going, Virgil?

VIRGIL HUNTER: Everything’s going good today. How are you today?

CIANI: I’m doing very well, thank you. And I have to say Virgil, I was very impressed with Andre’s performance, and the thing that impressed me the most was the way he was able to neutralize Chad’s jab right from the get-go through footwork and upper body movement. I’m wondering is that something you specifically worked on in camp to take away Chad’s jab?

HUNTER: Well that’s one of the specifics that we worked on to take away his jab. Actually the position of his eyes in an area of Chad was the most important thing. If we had the eyes positioned in the right place we knew that his body would be positioned in the right place and that he could maneuver Chad. We wanted to maneuver his jab. We wanted to give him the target that we wanted to give him, so it was very important that the positions were adhered to. So his eyes were the most important thing in that situation, and we worked on that, and once we got the hang of where the eyes were supposed to be, and the position his eyes were supposed to be in and centered on, the rest was pretty easy. Continue reading

Dawson Outclassed

By Emilio Camacho Esq. – As I predicted, Andre Ward outclassed Chad Dawson; however, there was several misses in my prediction.

First, I predicted that the first round would be uneventful and that Ward would win it. Although round 1 was indeed uneventful, surprisingly, Dawson looked sharp and strong thereby winning the round (at least in my view). Hence, I was only partially correct in my thoughts.

Second, I predicted that Dawson would win rounds 2 – 4. I was wrong. In rounds two and three, Ward unveiled his left hook droping Dawson to the canvas. Dawson had no hope after that and you could see it on his face. This is when we get to what I was talking about and the main argument of my previous article.

First, I stated that Ward would show us something we had not seen before and he did just that. Ward made the guy who defeated Tarver, Johnson, Hopkins, and Adamek, among others, quit in round ten after dropping him again. Dawson said he was “done.” In reality, almost no one expected a stoppage. I did not think the stoppage would come but I did think that Ward would be stronger and would show it in an extraordinary way. Well, he did. Continue reading

It was the WEIGHT!

by Robert Jackson: Well actually it wasn’t…totally, but as Miguel Cotto famously said following his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. “I tried to hit him, but I couldn’t”; Chad Dawson was also heard saying afterwards “he’s a lot faster and a lot stronger than I thought”. Also uttered by the 175lb champion were the buzzwords “I couldn’t get off tonight”; words usually associated with overtraining, making weight or the old boxing adage of a fighter having ‘left his fight in the gym’. Similar post-fight sentiments were put forth by Carl Froch after the Super 6 final where Ward unceremoniously, outfought and outhustled the British fighter to win the tournament. Froch had minimized Ward’s punching power and boxing ability prefight. Continue reading

Ward-Dawson: Andre Ward cements his place as a modern great

By Peter Wells: Maybe it’s about time we stopped the Mayweather, Pacquiao, who’s the best in the world argument. Andre Ward may just have trumped them both with another completely dominate display. Ward has already cleared out the Super Middleweight division, and Chad Dawson the best Light Heavyweight in the world, and a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter himself didn’t even come close to ending Ward’s unbeaten run that’s stretches back to when he was 12. When you look at Mayweather’s and Manny’s fights the last few years, they haven’t won each fight as clearly as Ward has. Andre has fought the best in his division and the best fighter in the division above, Mayweather and Pacquiao haven’t fought one another meaning they haven’t fought the best in their division.

Enough of that, this isn’t an article to argue who is the best in the world. Last night was Ward’s night as he was simply awesome in dominating the ultra talented WBC Light Heavyweight champion. In the build up many worried if Dawson could make the weight well, but looked good at the weigh in and weighed almost 10lbs heavier than Ward on fight night. Dawson enjoys fighting at his own pace, using his jab to control rounds. ‘S.O.G’ took away Dawson’s jab from the very start and after a slow first upped the pace to suit himself.

Ward’s footwork is something to admire. Any youngster starting boxing should definitely watch the way Ward uses his feet to set himself up to land shots and avoid shots coming back. Ward is also a great thinker and may well have won this fight using his brain, seeing shots that others wouldn’t notice if they stood their for 5 minutes let alone in a split second. Continue reading

Ward stops Dawson; DeMarco destroys Molina in 1st round knockout

By Michael Collins: It’s safe to say that Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KO’s) learned a tremendous lesson tonight about the dangerous of losing weight to fight out of his weight class. Dawson, 30, was completely dominated in every sense of the word by WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO’s) in losing by a 10th round TKO at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California. Dawson was knocked down three times in this fight, if you want to call it fight. After the 3rd knockdown, Dawson told referee Steve Smoger that he’d had enough and the fight was halted.

You don’t want to make excuses for Dawson, but it was hard looking at how poorly he fought and how weak he looked throughout the fight and not feel that he was perhaps weight drained from making the foolish mistake of agreeing to drain down to 168 lbs to take the weight. I’m betting that Dawson wishing he hadn’t done that right now because he really got a humiliating beating by Ward. This wasn’t even close after the 2nd.

Ward was just battering Dawson with left hooks, right hands and hard body shots and Dawson just looked like he was trying to survive. He was getting badly punished in this fight and it’s too bad his trainer John Sculley didn’t step and stop the massacre by the midpoint of the fight because there was no reason to let the fight continue after the 6th round. Continue reading

Ward in his toughest fight to date against Dawson tonight

( Photo credit: Alexis Cuarezma/Goossen Tutor) By Dwight Chittenden: WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO’s) will easily be taking on the toughest opponent of his career tonight against 30-year-old Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KO’s) at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California. This is a fight that can either turn the 28-year-old Ward into a star or it can send him hurtling downwards into the contender ranks.

Dawson has the talent to expose the gaps in Ward’s game, such as his lack of outside fighting skills. At one time, Ward was a good fighter on the outside, but he seems to have slowed down a step in the past three years and he’s now inside brawler 100 percent of the time. That’s all well and good because it’s worked out for him against the likes of Allan Green, Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch in the Super Six tournament. However, tonight will be Ward’s first fight against a fighter with superb boxing skills on the outside in Dawson and we could see Ward struggle to find his way in this fight.

Ward will likely do what he’s been doing in the past three years by getting his shots off first and then collapsing on Dawson to take the fight to the inside. Ward is awfully good at that, but Dawson isn’t someone that just stands there and let’s his opponents charge him the way that Ward does. Continue reading

Nick Cannon to host Ward-Dawson Official Weigh-In On Friday, September 7

OAKLAND (August 31, 2012). The official weigh in for Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson just got bigger and bolder as Nick Cannon, award winning actor, comedian, multi-media mogul, TV and radio show host, has come aboard to serve as host for the open-to-the-public free admission event, set for Friday, September 7 at the Oakland City Center, City Center Square in Oakland, CA.

The weigh-in will be the main event of the festivities scheduled for the official

Ward vs. Dawson FANFEST, an event filled with a live radio broadcast by the new game in town, 95.7 The Game, music by KBLX, celebrities, food and a beer garden sponsored by Corona, with fan interactive boxing activities brought to you by Everlast, all starting at Noon on Friday. Fans are encouraged to arrive early before the 2:30 PM weigh-in and to find a spot to enjoy the fun and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the most dramatic moment leading into the event other than the fight itself, when Oakland’s own Andre Ward and Chad Dawson face each other for the last time before entering the ring on Saturday night at Oracle Arena. Continue reading

Nick Cannon To Serve as Ring Announcer for Andre Ward – Chad Dawson

LOS ANGELES (August 20, 2012). Nick Cannon, award winning actor, comedian, multi-media mogul, TV and radio show host takes his announcing skills to the boxing ring as the official ring announcer for the highly anticipated Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson World Championship showdown, set to take place September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California and televised live on HBO® World Championship Boxing at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. Continue reading