What’s Next For Chad Dawson?
by Kirk Jackson
This past weekend was one to forget for Chad Dawson. The current light heavyweight champion of the world moved down in weight to one 168 and was completely dominated by the best super middleweight, and arguably the best fighter in the world.
Dawson’s fight with Andre “Son of God” Ward was a one-sided affair for 10 rounds, with a total of 29 punches landed according to Compubox. Despite a cut eye and battered and bruised body, however, Dawson can still hold his head high despite his performance.
Although he would not allude to it during his post fight interview with HBO’s Larry Merchant, it’s apparent moving down in weight did have a negative effect on Dawson.
Although it is also fair to say Ward’s style and undeniable will overwhelmed Dawson and the same would be the case at Chad’s division of 175, the man from Hartford, Connecticut should still get his props.
He fought one of the best fighters in the world, moved down in weight and did it on the guy’s home turf. Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board, but Dawson can still have a bright career ahead of him.
He is still the main man at 175, unless Ward immediately decides to move up. He still possesses amazing hand speed, talent, and outstanding athletic attributes that are matched by few if any.
Perhaps going forward, a more precise game-plan involving utilizing his jab and working on making adjustments round by round will serve well for Dawson.
The one positive thing Dawson can take away from his recent outing is his amazing jab. When he used it consistently, he controlled the fight and made things difficult for Ward. This thought should always stay embedded in the mind of Dawson. His jab is his most effective weapon.
Hopefully at some point, Dawson can secure a fight with IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, who has wanted a fight with Dawson for the past couple of years, or a fight with Jean Pascal. The two are scheduled to duel at some point this year, as Pascal recovers from a hand injury. Perhaps when the smoke clears Dawson can face the winner.
But in the meantime going forward, it may be in the best interest of Chad to secure an easier comeback fight, as opposed to immediately facing one of the tougher guys in the division. Allan Green is by no means a walk in the park, but he has name recognition and this could be a good comeback fight for Dawson and he can gain some confidence moving forward.
In regards to Dawson facing either Cloud or Pascal…
Cloud did not look too impressive in his last fight against Gabriel Campillo back in February, as the southpaw from Spain easily out-boxed Cloud for 12 rounds. Cloud would go on to earn a controversial split decision win, in what is truly one of the biggest robberies in recent memory.
Dawson may not be as defensively sound as the Spaniard, but is a little faster and more athletic, and if he followed Campillo’s blue print, he could surely box his way to victory and take a step closer to unifying the division.
And if not Cloud, a bout and a chance for redemption against Pascal would be a good fight for Dawson as well. Pascal was the first guy to deliver a defeat to Dawson and I believe Chad thought their fight ended prematurely with the cut.
A victory could force a trilogy between the two, and if exciting, big bucks for both fighters. Despite his recent stumble, Chad still has plenty of options and a few big fights to look forward to in the future.