By: William Holmes
Andre Ward made a large and loud statement tonight. He won the Super Six tournament, which featured some of the best boxers the world has to offer, yet still many doubted his ability.
The S.O.G.’s performance tonight should silence some of the doubters.
Nick Cannon served as ring announcer for tonight’s card. The opening bout was between Antonio DeMarco (28-2) and John Molina (24-2) for the WBC Lightweight title. An early straight left hand by DeMarco sent Molina backwards and stumbling to the corner. He crouched down and covered up while DeMarco unloaded combinations. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
It was a questionable stoppage, but Molina was not offering any offense and failed to take a knee to get an eight count. DeMarco wins by KO at 0:44 of round 1.
Andre Ward (26-0) and Chad Dawson (31-2) served as the main event for the WBA and the WBC Super Middleweight titles. Two of America’s best in their respective weight classes.
The first round featured both fighters attempting to feel each other out. Dawson, the southpaw, was not able to land his jab and suffered an early cut above right eye. Dawson landed a few right hooks in the second round, but that would have been the only round that he arguably could have won.
Once Ward solved Dawson’s defense, he went on the offensive and began to land his left hook. A beautiful rising left hook knocked Dawson down in the second round. Dawson fell victim to another left hook early on in the third round that sent him to the canvas again. Dawson somehow managed to survive despite rising to his feet with over two minutes remaining in the round.
For the remainder of the fight, Ward popped Dawson seemingly at will with his jab and left hook. By round nine Dawson’s corner was pleading for him to press on and go for the win, but he responded by eating several hard straight right hands.
The end came in round ten, when a combination that was started by a left hook sent Dawson to the ground. When asked, Dawson informed the referee he no longer wished to continue.
With fighters such as Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather Jr. seemingly closer to the end than the primes of their career, Andre Ward’s dominance only reminded the boxing world of one thing.
Post Fight Quotes:
“I was carrying the weight of being the champion into the ring tonight, and Dawson was a dangerous opponent,” Ward acknowledged. “I took the risk of fighting the bigger man. He had the height and reach advantage, but he sacrificed the weight. I was surprised that he wasn’t as fast as he looked like he was on the tapes I watched. I could see everything coming from the start of the fight. Virgil kept telling me to turn it up. That’s what I did.
“I love to win and the better the competition, the more I rise to the occasion. It might have looked like it was easy, but Chad Dawson was a monster, added Ward, who made the fourth defense of his WBA title and first as WBC champion. “Guys have been asking me what it’s going to take to finish the puzzle. Finishing guys off is the last piece of the puzzle and we are on our way to doing that.”
Classy in defeat, Dawson said: “I did everything I had to do to prepare for this fight. He (Ward) was a lot faster than I thought he was. He is strong too. I don’t take anything away from him because he is definitely one of the best. I just felt like I couldn’t get anything off tonight. I didn’t have a problem with the weight; the weight was fine. I am going to go back to 175 and decide what I am going to do next. Andre Ward is a hell of a champion.”