Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver, Clinton Woods-Julio Gonzalez II - Both A Go For September 29th?

chad dawson01.08.07 - By James Slater: Word is there will be two intriguing light-heavyweight title fights taking place on opposite sides of the Atlantic on the same day in September. WBC boxing champ, “Bad” Chad Dawson is rumored to be close to signing to defend against Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver, while IBF king, Clinton Woods looks set to hook up once again with Mexican tough guy Julio Gonzalez.

At least according to sources this writer has been privy to, anyway. September 29th was the date I heard as given for these two quality 175 pound match-ups. The Tarver-Dawson fight I heard about on a well know boxing radio show, while Woods-Gonzalez II being on was reported in British trade paper, Boxing News.

No venue is set yet for the all-American showdown, while Wood’s hometown of Sheffield, England is to hold the rematch fight. Two interesting bouts to be sure, particularly the Dawson Vs. Tarver bout.

With all due respect to both Woods and Gonzalez, it is the WBC showdown that will get most of the attention. Clinton and Julio have fought before, of course, with Woods winning a clear-cut unanimous decision. It’s seems likely, a big upset aside, that the IBF boxing champ will do so again. The Tarver-Dawson fight, however, is a whole lot tougher a fight to pick. Antonio, pushing forty years of age he may be, still punches extremely hard with his left hand, is still sharp and fast, and has boxed in the big league many, many times. Chad, on the other hand, though looking like a possible future great at light-heavy, as well as being much the younger man, will be giving away quite a bit of experience to “The Magic Man.” Right now, I’d have to say the fight between the two southpaws is a pick’em match-up.

Despite not looking overly great in his tougher-then-expected fight with Elvir Muriqi last time out, Tarver was coming off a long layoff. Having shed much of his ring-rust in his exciting tussle with “The Kosovo Kid,” Tarver has to be given at least an even money shot at reigning once again. In Chad Dawson, though, he will be meeting a very talented fighter. A man many see as the future star at 175 pounds. Both men can punch, yet both can also be hit and hurt themselves. Dawson has been down twice in recent fights - against Thomasz Adamek and before that Eric Harding, while during his long career Tarver has been decked by Bernard Hopkins last June and, as with Dawson, by Harding, a few years back. Therefore when the thirty-eight and twenty-five year olds meet, it could be a matter of who strikes first. Maybe the bout will indeed become a slugfest right from the get-go. A shocker aside, though, it’s hard to envisage Tarver being KO’d. And as for Dawson, being as he’s unbeaten and just reaching his peak, it’s equally as hard to picture him being carried out, too.

In giving a prediction, I go with the younger man in “Bad Chad,” to win a close and highly competitive decision. As for Woods Vs. Gonzalez II, barring the possibility that Woods has somehow aged overnight (he is thirty-five to Gonzalez’ thirty-one) I think he too will retain his title with a decision. Clinton, though, should have a somewhat easier night than either of his American rivals. Gonzalez is tough, but so is the man who has already UD’d him handily a couple of years ago.

Both fights will certainly be well worth watching; as are most match-ups in today’s appealing 175 pound division. Let’s hope both Woods-Gonzalez II and Dawson-Tarver do indeed come off as the word on the grapevine says they will. Then let’s see the two winners meet in a unification clash.

Article posted on 01.08.2007

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