by James Slater – As has now been widely reported on the net, the March 14th rematch between light-heavyweights Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver has suffered a cancellation due to IBF champion Dawson having injured his right hand in sparring. Set to meet in a not altogether highly anticipated rematch, it must be said, Dawson and Tarver would have been meeting for the second time in five months – with “Bad” Chad dethroning “The Magic Man” via a dominant unanimous points verdict back in October of last year..
Dawson’s promoter, Gary Shaw, spoke about the rematch now being off, and the injury that caused the whole thing.
“It’s not a break, it’s a ligament [in Dawson’s right hand],” Shaw told ESPN. “In two weeks he’ll be able to go back into training. The question is when can HBO give us another date for the fight? I’m bummed. I really wanted Chad to get back in the ring to show his wares and move on. I’m sure Chad is pretty upset, too, and I’m sure HBO is pretty bummed out.
“But Chad should be ready to fight as early as mid-April.”
This is also bad news for the now 40-year-old Tarver. With no time to spare now that he’s well and truly at the veteran stage of his fine career, Dawson’s fellow southpaw could very well age badly overnight. The longer he has to wait to try and get his revenge over the much younger Dawson, the more the “Rocky Balboa” star faces the possibility of his timing and reflexes fading more and more.
And while most fans were far from thrilled at the prospect of seeing the two 175-pounders going at it for a second time – some going as far as calling the rematch a pointless fight – Tarver may have scored an upset. After all, the trend in a few recent fights has been for the older man to beat the younger guy and shock the odds. Was “The Magic Man” going to pull off something miraculous himself on March 14th? We will never know now, and there has been no word yet from Tarver or his camp about whether or not he will remain idle while waiting for the new date.
If Shaw is correct, and the rematch can take place in April, the delay, though no good thing, shouldn’t hurt the 40-year-old too much. However, if HBO are unable to re-work the fight that quickly, and if the fight fails to get made for a number of months, Tarver will have a good chance of gaining ring-rust he can ill afford at this stage of his career.
Back on October 11th of last year, Dawson, 26-years-old, scored a knockdown on the way to giving Tarver a defeat that was arguably the most comprehensive of his career to date.