Ward vs. Dawson: How does this fight play out?
By Robert Jackson: A very intriguing fight by all estimates, hopefully Ward/Dawson measures up to the hype. In one corner we have Chad Dawson reigning 175lb king with hopes of dominating the 168lb-175lb weight classes, dropping down in weight for a 168lb showdown. In the other corner we have Andre Ward recent winner of the Super 6, 168lb championship.
Dawson, following his victory over Bernard Hopkins, called out Andre Ward post fight even saying he would drop down to 168lbs to face him. At the time Ward was waiting to see who he would fight next based on the outcome of the Carl Froch/Lucian Bute match. The overwhelming consensus was that Bute would win, and then a Ward/Bute matchup would be made. But that turned out not to be the case when Froch stopped Bute in 5. Having dominated Froch in the Super 6 final, there was no need for Ward to face Froch again so soon, so Ward’s only option was to accept the Dawson challenge.
Dawson, a 6’3” light heavyweight having last fought at 168lbs 6 years ago, claims that making the weight and fighting at 168lbs will be no problem. He also says he’s bigger, stronger and a better boxer than Ward. Ward a 6’0” 168lber won a 2004 Olympic Gold medal in boxing fighting at lt heavyweight, and as a professional fights in a style eerily similar to that of Bernard Hopkins but with better reflexes, movement and youthfulness.
The problem I see in this fight will be Dawson’s decision to drop down and fight at 168lbs, either it will work for him or most likely it won’t. He could’ve easily asked for a catchweight and Ward would’ve agreed. Not having fought at 168lbs for 6 years and then doing it all of a sudden will have its detriments contrary to what the 175lb champion says. Ward is once again fighting on home turf in Oakland, which makes it that much harder for Dawson to get a decision in a close fight. I also see a little bit of dismissiveness by Dawson and his team of Ward’s skills and ability. Maybe they didn’t notice that even though Dawson beat Hopkins, it wasn’t by much and they never landed anything big on Hopkins. This will be the CASE moreso against Ward who’s more elusive and just as crafty. In Dawson’s favor, losing to Ward does nothing bad for him in his reign as 175lb champion, so he can return there and face the Pascal/Cloud winner (whenever that fight is rescheduled).
In the end Andre Ward by winning the fight will be the big winner along with the fans who witness PPV fights without the PPV price in what may be a great fights.