Breaking Down Dawson vs. Tarver

By Jim Amato: This should be a no brainer. I mean just look at their records. Antonio Tarver has met the best that the light heavyweight division has had to offer, and has beat most of them too. He lost to then highly rated Eric Harding, but knocked him out in a rematch. He defeated Reggie Johnson and Montell Griffin. He went 2-1 with Roy Jones Jr. and was the first man to ever stop Roy. He split a pair of decisions with rugged Glen Johnson. He lost to future Hall Of Fame inductee Bernard Hopkins but came back to outclass Clinton Woods. Now what has young Chad Dawson accomplished? Well, he beat a past his prime Harding. He was impressive in defeating the talented Tomasz Adamek but struggled against Glen Johnson. Dawson won a hotly disputed verdict over Glen..

Coming into his bout with Tarver, Dawson is undefeated at 26-0 with one no contest. He has 17 stoppage victories. Although Tarver has been a professional longer, he has only 31 fights on his ledger that stands at 27-4. On paper, Tarver looks like a solid favorite. At the advanced age of 39, can the "Magic Man" Tarver defeat Father Time? Dawson is a spry 26 years old. He is an inch taller then Tarver and has a slight reach advantage but those advantages will hardly make a difference. To me, this bout will be won and lost on the style match up.

Antonio Tarver turned in an A+ performance when he soundly beat Clinton Woods. The reason for that was simple. Woods let Tarver dictate the pace. Antonio boxed when he wanted, slugged when he wanted and rested when he wanted to. Woods did little to disrupt Tarver's agenda. When Dawson fought Glen Johnson, he met a bulldog. Throughout the match Johnson pressured the young Dawson forcing him into some wicked exchanges. All and all that was one of the best light heavyweight fights I've seen in years!

Against Dawson, the "Magic Man" will have a lot more difficulty exhibiting his brand of magic. Dawson will pursue Tarver. He will force Tarver to fight when he wants to rest. Believe me Tarver's 39 year-old legs will need a rest. Woods allowed that, Dawson won't. Antonio likes to throw wide, looping shots. Dawson has a pretty tight defense. I also see Dawson landing straight, crisp counters. I believe in the early rounds that Tarver will try to test young Dawson. That means the early part of the fight should be rather entertaining. This will be Tarver's best time to shine and he will see what Dawson's chin is made of. Chad took some bombs from Glen Johnson and survived. If he stays with Tarver through the first six rounds, I see a subtle change as the fight progresses. Dawson will continue to fight at a fast pace and Tarver will begin to wind down. With each passing round I see Dawson enforcing his will on a weary Tarver. I won't predict a Dawson KO victory because Tarver is a seasoned veteran with a proved set of whiskers. In the end, though, I see Dawson winning a unanimous decision with a couple of points to spare. Tarver should then pack it in ending a very respectable career. Chad should then do the right thing and give Glencoffe Johnson a well deserved rematch.

Article posted on 07.10.2008

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