by Hans Olson
“He wasn’t going to make it through that last round, trust me.”
When Chad Dawson was last in Montreal on August 14th of 2010, it ended in utter disappointment. What was supposed to be a coronation for the best Light Heavyweight in the world instead became a harsh lesson learned for the uber-talented southpaw from Connecticut.
He needed to start faster.
Over the first half of the fight against Jean Pascal, Chad delivered a surprisingly downbeat performance. Take nothing away from Pascal…it was career best showing…
it’s just that there was such clear detachment in the way Chad fought during most of that fight. This was in drastic opposition from the passionate boxer that hardcore fight fans have appreciated for years now. Where Dawson waited, Pascal repeatedly exploded, landing swarming shots on Dawson at will.
Then something clicked.
Echoing a rush of ferocity not unlike one we’ve seen in stars such as Sugar Ray Leonard and Aaron Pryor in the past, Chad came out in the 11th round against Jean Pascal with bad intentions, nearly stopping Pascal before that fateful accidental head butt ended the fight. It’s a shame really, because it could have been one of the great moments of 2010.
A late rally stopping Jean Pascal. It could have been epic.
It was not to be.
As a result of the accidental head butt, the fight was halted. Going to the scorecards, there wasn’t a way Chad could win. Pacscal had won too many of those early rounds.
Dawson would suffer his first career loss.
With the memories of that last fight still fresh, I asked Chad if it’s of utmost importance to come out from the opening bell on Saturday night against Adrian Diaconu with that same urgency, that same fire he showed at the end of the Pascal fight.
“That’s the game plan, you know, Diaconu’s a real good fighter; short…real short. There’s nothing I can see that he can do to stop my game plan. I have a great game plan; Emmanuel Steward put together a great game plan. It’s all about me going out, and carrying out the plan that he gave me.”
That could prove to be the x factor. After the fight with Pascal, Dawson parted with longtime trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and hired Kronk Gym legend Emmanuel Steward. It’s a change that may have come at the right time.
Hey, having the best trainer in boxing can’t hurt right?
And how about coming back to Montreal, the site of his first career defeat?
“I’m happy to be back in the ring period, man. I’m here to prove that I’m still the best, and I’m still on top of my game.”