Tarver vs Dawson Heats Up!

Andre DawsonBy John Martinez, On Saturday, October 11, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will broadcast live from The Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino, Las Vegas, NV. the world title clash between the IBO/IBF Light Heavy Champion Antonio Tarver and the undefeated former WBC Light Heavy king Chad Dawson.

The match up should determine who holds bragging rights as the true boss of the official 175 pound division as both fighters will weigh in at the 175 pound limit as opposed to an agreed catch weight like Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins are set to do in their upcoming bouts with Roy Jones Jr. and Kelly Pavlik respectively.

During an intense and often emotional conference call to discuss their imminent clash, both fighters agreed on practically nothing except on one issue. I asked them to describe what a victory meant to each of them and their division.

Dawson replied” at the end of the day, what you got is, you got me and Antonio Tarver. You got all these made up weight classes like Roy (Jones) fighting at 170 and 170 isn’t a real weight class and 170 is closer to super middleweight than the light heavy weight division anyway.

On October 11 the winner of this fight will be the true light heavy champion of the world.”

Tarver agreed and commented that should he be victorious against Dawson, he would push for a fight between he and the winner of Calzaghe and Jones Jr.

“I’m looking for a major fight against like the (winner of the) celebrity charity event that they’re putting on up in New York sometime in November. That fight is a fraud.”

Tarver and Dawson made it clear that fight fans will be treated to fight rather than a tactical boxing match.

“ I’m gonna fight this fight from round one. I’m gonna let my hands go and I don’t want him to run and hide. I want him to fight.” Said Tarver.

“That’s what I want. He’s the one that’s gonna get cut all night. He can’t lay hands on me.’ Responded Dawson.

The fight has finally materialized after a two year campaign by some in the boxing media to bring Dawson, a young, undefeated, quick handed fighter and Tarver, a brash, well polished cagey veteran southpaw with the gift for the gab to finally meet and decide who reigns as the legitimate champion of the light heavyweight division.
Tarver made it clear that he won’t lose on October 11 and should not be looked upon as just another stepping stone for Dawson’s ascent to greater things in the squared circle.

“This is about how much punishment you can take and God has preserved me for a reason and we’re going to see that reason come October 11.”

The fight is just another reminder to fight fans and boxing scribes alike about the importance of putting on compelling, competitive, evenly matched fights for the public as opposed to glorified sparring matches like the one that will air on HBO PPV in December between a faded former Golden Boy and a young, hungry, but much smaller brawler in Pacquaio.

I look for Dawson to come out slightly tentative and gradually open up as his confidence builds.

Tarver, in my opinion, will start out very quickly attempting to swarm the younger fighter.

The fight will break out around the fourth or fifth stanza.

Both fighters will engage in the center of the ring and I believe that Tarver will sit Dawson on the canvass by the middle to late rounds of their bout.

Once this happens, Dawson will remember to utilize his speed, defense, and footwork to stymie the determined Tarver attack machine.

He too will have his moments and will hurt Tarver with the lead right hand down the middle.

With all this being said, I predict that Dawson will have his hand raised over Tarver in a better than expected performance over the crafty and tough, but ultimately losing effort of Antonio Tarver.

In the end, there will be no losers stemming from this fight. Tarver would have resurrected his career even further. Dawson adds to his already meteoric rise again.

The public gets treated to an excited fight and SHOWTIME once again proves why they have become the network to go to for stimulating fights that the public doesn’t have to pay upwards of $50-$70 to see.

Article posted on 01.10.2008

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