Ward vs. Dawson: what's in it for either man?

By Robert Jackson: Dropping down in weight to make a big fight is an unusual occurrence in today’s boxing world, most times fighters move up in weight to make that BIG fight and the BIG money that goes along with it. During the post fight interview following Chad Dawson’s victory over Bernard Hopkins, Dawson called out 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward to fight and at 168lbs to boot. An interesting challenge considering the landscape of the 175lb division; but having conquered the 47 year old Hopkins, Ward is a logical opponent for Dawson stylistically. Ward fights in a similar style to Hopkins only more youthfully, and with quickness and energy.

Following the Super-6 tournament that saw Andre Ward coming out on top as the tournament winner many expected Ward to face Lucian Bute for 168lb supremacy. That fight never happened and Ward has been inactive for 6 months. Dawson on the other hand was expected post-Hopkins to avenge his only loss to Jean Pascal; Pascal will be fighting Tavoris Cloud mid-summer, so the Dawson/Pascal rematch will have to wait.

Dawson has said moving down to 168lbs would be no problem for him, but is that really the case? Having fought at 175lbs since 2006 one has to wonder how easy it will be for Bad Chad to drop the weight, while also wondering how effective he will be. In hindsight Chad could’ve opted for a catch-weight which Andre Ward most likely would’ve agreed to. With that being said, Ward has accepted (a calculated move)and the fight has been made for September 8th giving Dawson plenty of time to easily make the 168lb limit.

Should Dawson lose this fight, critics and fans alike may point to Dawson’s decision to drop down, even though historically in boxing the fighter doing the calling usually fights at the weight of the fighter he calls out. Dawson losing at 168lbs probably would have no affect on his return as the recognized 175lb champion, a(nother) calculated move by the Connecticut based fighter. He’d return expecting to face the Pascal/cloud winner. A fight against the Froch/Bute winner would also be on the table should Dawson win.

Should Ward lose, the mega fight everybody is waiting for Ward vs. Bute would disappear and Ward would have to re-establish himself at 168lbs. With a win over Dawson and a Bute win over Froch, Ward/Bute would be BIG and expected in 2013.

Article posted on 24.05.2012

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