Interview With ďBadĒ Chad Dawson

chad dawson24.05.07 - By James Slater: WBC light-heavyweight king, ďBadĒ Chad Dawson is a fighter many believe to be on the verge of superstardom. The unbeaten twenty-four year old southpaw hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, won his world title last time out via a comprehensive and very impressive points victory of the then unbeaten Tomasz Adamek. Chadís decision to part company with trainer Dan Birmingham and join forces with Floyd Mayweather Senior just before this fight in February raised a number of eyebrows. The move proved to be a successful one, however, and Dawson feels he is now a complete fighter under his new coach.

Currently in training for his first title defence - against Mexican tough guy, Jesus Ruiz, in a fight that will take place on the under card of Antonio Tarverís comeback bout against Elvir Muriqi - Chad graciously took time out to speak with this writer. Here is what ďBadĒ Chad had to say.

James Slater: Itís great to talk with you, Chad. Firstly, this upcoming fight with Jesus Ruiz, what do you know about him?

Chad Dawson: I know heís a tough guy who comes to fight. Heís got nineteen wins, seventeen by KO. Heís supposed to be a big puncher. Iíve watched tapes of him, heís an aggressive fighter.

J.S: Yeah, he knocked Paul Briggs down when he fought him, will you be wary of his power?

C.D: Not so much wary of him, Iíve got a little bit of a bang myself. Iím gonna go in there and do what I do right, just like I did in my last fight with Adamek. Adamek was considered a big puncher too. Iím just gonna take control of the fight.

J.S: Do you consider yourself a puncher, or more of a boxer/puncher in general?

C.D: It depends. Different styles of fighters make different fights. Maybe this guy will bring the puncher out in me, maybe he wonít. I donít really consider myself a real big puncher. I mean, I know I can punch, I have the power to knock someone out. But I take my time, figure a guy out and then take it from there.

J.S: When you were knocked down in your fight with Eric Harding in the first round, were you hurt or was it just a flash knockdown?

C.D: That was just a flash knockdown, I was off balance and he caught me with a jab. He caught me with a nice stiff jab, but I would definitely say it was a flash knockdown.

J.S: You were also knocked down against Adamek ( in the tenth round). Not to concentrate on negatives, but were you hurt that time?

C.D: That was a flash knockdown too. Itís funny, he caught me with a nice shot but I wasnít hurt. I was fully conscious that I was going down. I jumped right back up and got back to my jab, doing what I was doing and controlling the fight.

J.S: The light-heavyweight division is in good shape at the moment. Thereís you, our guy Clinton Woods, Tarver coming back etc. Itís a good division, do you consider yourself the best out there?

C.D: I mean, I want to consider myself the best, but until I get the big fights you know, Antonio Tarver, Clinton Woods, until I get those fights I really canít say. I do consider myself the best in as much as there really isnít anyone who wants to take a chance with [fighting] me.

J.S: So a fight with Clinton Woods would definitely interest you then?

C.D: Definitely. If the moneyís right. You know me, Iíll fight anybody. I Donít mind a fight with Clinton Woods, anyone of those guys, yeah. But a fight with Woods, that would definitely be a boost to my career.

J.S: Have you seen Woods fight, do you rate him as a good fighter?

C.D: Well, he has the IBF title. He didnít get it just by sitting back fighting guys that were nobodies. Heís a champion, heís definitely a good fighter and a good champion. I wouldnít have a problem going over there [to the U.K] to fight him, and Iím pretty sure he wouldnít have a problem with that either. I mean, weíll see. Maybe heíll take a fight with me, maybe he
wonít. But I would definitely take a fight with him.

J.S: Well, it would be great to see. Youíre on the same card as Tarver on June 9th, are there any plans for you two to hook up in the future. Has anything been discussed?

C.D: Thereís been a few discussions. But Antonio Tarverís not really looking to take a fight with me right now. We had a press conference a couple of weeks ago, and the way he was talking was like heís definitely not looking for a tough fight like that right now. If he changes his mind, that would be good, if he doesnít I have to respect him. I mean, if I beat him it would be great for me, but if he looses heíd be pretty much done. He has everything to lose and I donít really have anything to lose.

J.S: Roy Jones is fighting again soon, would a fight with him interest you?

C.D: Iím not even thinking about Roy Jones. He talks a lot, but heís just all about the money. He prices himself out too much. Iím looking for big fights. I donít have a problem going down to 168 to fight Joe Calzaghe. I just want the big fights, the fights that are going to solidify me as one of the best fighters in the sport right now. But Roy Jones, I donít think much of that fight. Heís been knocked out twice, in a row. Even in his last fight, with Prince Badi Ajamu, he didnít look good that fight either. Tarver just ruined him [Jones].

J.S: Thatís interesting, you saying youíd like a fight with Calzaghe. He seems unwilling to fight in America, though. Would you be willing to come over to Wales?

C.D: Iíd be willing to come over. Thatís a big fight. Right now, Calzagheís on top of the boxing game. Iíd definitely come over to England to fight him, Iím that confident of the outcome of that fight. Iíd have all the advantages except for experience.

J.S: That would be a great fight to see. I know youíve fought in the U.K before ( a three round KO of Jamie Hearn in Manchester in March of 2006) how was the experience?

C.D: I loved it over there, the fans were very respectful. You guys have real boxing fans over there. I was talking with a couple of fans after the fight and they said how they wanted to bring boxing back to the way it had been when it was so much bigger. I respect that and I feel they [British fans] know boxing. To go back over there, Iíd love it.

J.S: We would love to see you. Talking about Floyd Senior for a moment. How does he compare as a trainer to Dan Birmingham. What does Floyd add to Chad Dawson?

C.D: Floyd suits my style of boxing more. Dan Birminghamís an excellent trainer, you know he trains Winky Wright, whoís one of the top fighters in the world, too, pound-for-pound. But Danís more of a Ďone, two, jab, jabí kind of trainer, whereas Floyd Mayweatherís more of a combinations kind of trainer. He suits my style better. And in the gym heís a hands on trainer. When I hit the bag heís right there. When I jump rope heís right there beside me telling me to pick it up. Just his work ethic is very, very good. We work well together, weíve gelled. Iíve only had the one fight with him, but a lot of people called me after the [Adamek] fight and told me I looked like a totally different fighter.

J.S: Speaking of a guy named Mayweather. What about the fight people are still talking about in De La Hoya-Mayweather Junior. As a fighter, who do you think won?

C.D: I definitely think that if De La Hoya hadnít of pressed the fight there wouldnít have been a fight. It would have just been a total chess match. I think De La Hoya did a real good job of making the fight, but Floyd landed the cleaner punches. Most of the punches De La Hoya threw they werenít really punches that landed, they were like grazing punches. Mayweather has that great defence, he rolls real good. I definitely think Mayweather won the fight, but it was a real close fight. If theyíd given it to De La Hoya or scored it a draw I couldnít have been mad.

J.S: Are you looking forward to getting on that really big stage yourself in the coming year or two, are you looking forward to being a real big superstar?

C.D: Yeah, definitely. Hopefully this year or next year will be my year. Everybody will know who I am hopefully.

J.S: Looking ahead to the Ruiz fight, what can we expect?

C.D: I never look to knock guys out. If you go in thinking like that it might not happen or you could be the one who winds up getting hurt yourself. Whatever game-plan Floyd sets for me thatís the game-plan Iím gonna follow.

J.S: Well, best of luck for the fight, Chad, I really appreciate your time.

C.D: Okay, I really appreciate it too.

Article posted on 24.05.2007

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