The Baddest Chad On The Planet


     By Hector Echevarria

    On September 8th,  WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson will step in the ring against Andre Ward, who some tab as the 4th best pound for pound fighter in the world. Dawson will have all the odds stacked against him; he will be giving away home field advantage, and also be coming down in weight, to the super middleweight division.

    Not too long ago, Chad was in Wards position, dubbed as the best boxer on the planet by Floyd Mayweather some time ago. He was being showcased on HBO, getting good paydays but that all came crashing down when he took on Jean Pascal in Montreal. Chad came in as the favorite but didn’t look anything like it early, as Pascal used movement and his quickness to catch Dawson with straight rights, using an in and out rhythm.

    As the fight progressed, Chad found his grove, while Pascal tired late in the 11th.  It looked as if the champ was ready to go, but an accidental clash of heads opened a huge gash over the challenger’s eye. The fight was stopped and went to the cards with Pascal winning a split decision.

    The lost left a bad taste in the Dawson’s mouth. He fired his trainer, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and went with hired gun H.O.F trainer Emanuel Stewart. After one fight, Stewart was replaced by long time friend, and former trainer John Scully. The two men share a chemistry together that was on display versus future hall of famer, Bernard Hopkins in Atlantic City. The first fight ended in controversy Dawson appeared to throw Hopkins to the ground in the 2nd round. Hopkins dislocated his shoulder and was unable to continue and Chad was awarded a TKO victory. It was short lived, because a few weeks later the C.S.A.C., overturned Dawson’s victory and the bout was called a technical draw.  Bernard was giving the WBC belt back, but was ordered to give the challenger a rematch.

    On April 28, the rematch was set in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. The bout was a coming of age fight for a fighter we all knew was talented. Bhop tried all his dirty tricks that the vet used in the past, but Dawson never got rattled, stayed with the game plan,  and came away being crowned a three time champ. After the fight, the champ called out Ward, which was puzzling to most fans because Chad fights in a pretty good light heavyweight division. He’s willing to step 7lbs down and fight Ward on his terms.

    With Pascal and Cloud being tied up, this is the only name that Dawson can get that is credible enough to elevate him to stardom. It’s a big risk but this is what prize fighting is made of. There has never been a knock on Chad’s talent; it has always been his lack of focus that most boxing experts and fans question. In the Hopkins fight, he finally let it all come together. I think the biggest change with Chad is that he founded his comfort zone with lead trainer John Scully in his corner. On September 8, are we going to see Bad Chad or the enigma which is Dawson?

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