Johnson deserves a rematch with Dawson

Glen JohnsonBy Geoffrey Ciani: Through the midst of a smoky haze, with vision slightly blurred from a sea of booze, it appeared from my vantage point that Glenn Johnson had done enough to secure a victory against rising star Chad Dawson. Admittedly, there were many close rounds which could have gone either way, and this was by no means a robbery (although the final tallies did seem a bit too wide). Even still, the body language on display at the post-fight interview was quite revealing. Johnson clearly believed he had done enough to win, whereas, Dawson looked like a man who had just gotten away with murder, as evidenced by his uninspiring interview.

In the end, I was impressed by both fighters. Johnson proved that at age 39, he is still formidable contender in the light heavyweight division. Driven by a will to win, Johnson gave his best efforts at scoring an upset against one of the greatest young talents in the sport. On the flipside, Dawson proved he could overcome adversity and hang in strong when the going got tough. Whenever Johnson appeared to be on the verge of breaking his will, Dawson fired back and was always quick to regain his composure.

Overall, this was a fantastic fight which proved most entertaining. It was an interesting clash of styles which saw some tremendous body work from both fighters in a give and take affair where the momentum was often shifting from one to the other. Typically, such competitive crowd-pleasing bouts make good rematch candidates, especially when there is some doubt over the final verdict. Regardless of who you had winning, I think most observers would be willing to agree that this bout was close enough to warrant a rematch, which begs the question—will we get one?

According to Dawson’s post-fight interview, it would appear he has no interest in granting Johnson another chance. When asked directly whether or not he would wants a rematch, he blatantly refused, which strongly indicates he had gotten more than he bargained for. Instead of pretending to want a rematch only to weasel out later, and instead of giving an ambiguous answer stating that a rematch may be in the cards, Dawson made his intentions clear, and these did not include a second tango with Glen Johnson in the near future. If nothing else, this at least proves that the young pugilist needs some PR work concerning post-fight discussions.

Even those who believed Dawson won decisively must admit that Johnson’s passion in the fight’s aftermath was admirable, and that in his heart, he truly believed he deserved victory. In contrast with Dawson’s blatant reluctance to face him again, you almost get the feeling that Chad believes he got away with one. Given this, and given the fact that lesser contests have resulted in rematches, I think one is surely warranted in this instance. After all, if Dawson is truly as good as many believe (such as myself), what harm comes from granting a well-deserved return bout? If nothing else, this should prove to be an extremely valuable learning experience for Dawson, and it will also give fans another great scrap to look forward to.

I, for one, hope we see a rematch sometime in the near future. I think Johnson deserves one given the circumstances.

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Article posted on 16.04.2008

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