by Geoffrey Ciani – After being awarded a majority decision victory against the ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins, in a fight that appeared more decisive than the rendered verdict might suggest, ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson issued a direct challenge to super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Dawson made his intentions abundantly clear that this was the fight he wanted, even insisting that he would venture south to 168 in order to make it happen. Ward ultimately accepted this challenge, and now the two are slated to square off in a highly anticipated showdown on September 8.
Even though Dawson claims he can comfortably make weight and perform effectively as a super middleweight, many observers simply do not believe him. As a result, while the reality may be that this is nothing more than a tremendous clash of talent, the perception is that Dawson is being compromised. Not only does Chad, a naturally big light heavyweight, need to shed an extra seven pounds to make the 168 pound limit he last made over six years ago, but he will also need to travel to Ward’s backyard in Oakland. In the eyes of many, even if Ward wins in the most impressive fashion imaginable, the victory will already be tainted because of the concessions “forced on” Dawson.