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Dawson and Johnson put on a Great Show

Posted on 04/15/2008

Dawson passes toughest test of young career

By: Phil Santos

That was it. All twelve rounds of Chad Dawson versus Glen Johnson epitomized what championship boxing is all about. Two top rated fighters willing to exchange and leave it all in the ring. It is a rarity to witness such an entertaining fight, especially in the higher weight classes, without a knockdown ever being recorded. Dawson and Johnson fought at a blistering pace worthy of welterweights.

They wasted no time getting started and stayed busy throughout. It was Chad Dawson landing beautiful combos and Glen Johnson scoring the stiffer shots. I agreed with the judges and gave Dawson the nod on my card but the fact that so many people scored a close win for Johnson speaks to just what a great fight we were treated to.

It was stated numerous times during the course of action that Glen Johnson was forcing Chad Dawson to fight a great fight. That assessment couldn’t have been more accurate and Dawson truly did rise to the occasion. To his credit, and nearly to his demise, Dawson chose to stand and trade with Johnson. This was a move that could have been costly but earned him big points in my book. If Dawson’s plan was to demonstrate his strength and toughness then he certainly got his point across. The young champion survived a late round scare when Johnson landed a thudding right hand. He held on only once before fighting his way out of trouble to survive the round. Any lingering questions about Dawson’s ability to take a punch were answered emphatically.

Glen Johnson offered by far the toughest test for, the 14 years younger, Chad Dawson. Johnson never stopped coming forward and seemed just a punch or two away from possibly ending the fight. He walked straight through an endless stream of combinations from Dawson and delivered digging body shots and big right hands. Following the fight Johnson was extremely disgusted with the decision and expressed his distain for the way boxing operates as a business. Despite his harsh words Johnson remained polite and has the right to be disappointed after losing a fight in which he fought so well.

What’s Next?:

What now for Glen Johnson? The man has fought everybody. He made it very clear against Dawson that, even at age 39, he remains one of the top fighters in the division. Johnson is an extremely difficult match-up for anyone at 175, which is both good and bad for the rugged veteran. On the positive note he is still a force in the division but the draw back could be that without a belt/title or a significant win of late the “Road Warrior” may be overlooked by championship fighters seeking an opponent. The risk of losing to Johnson might begin to outweigh the benefits of handing him his 13th defeat. Perhaps another go at Clinton Woods or possibly up and comers Zsolt Erdei or Adrian Diaconu could put Johnson back into the championship conversation.

For Chad Dawson this win is huge. With a big win over an accomplished opponent Dawson has solidified his championship status. Leading into the fight there were still those who doubted Dawson’s skill and questioned his sturdiness of his chin. All that talk should begin to fade. Now the fight that has been speculated for a year, or longer, Chad Dawson versus Antonio Tarver makes more sense than ever. Names like Roy Jones and, current Ring World Champion, Bernard Hopkins are also intriguing opponents. Regardless of his immediate intentions Dawson remains flawless and still appears to be the present and future at 175 pounds.

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