Ward and Dawson, Could it be a great one!

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: July 11, 2012

Be There...

Be There...

IOWA CITY, IOWA (BASN)—This September, two of the best American fighters will go toe to toe. Andre Ward and Chad Dawson will face one another in a battle of two American at the top of their game and at their peak. Dawson’s prominence began when he defeated Tomaz Adamek for the light heavyweight championship. From there, he finished off the senior circuit defeating Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver twice before losing to Jean Pascal. His two recent bouts with Hopkins were hardly masterpiece but in the end, he defeated another Hall of Fame fighter in one of boxing ugliest fight.

Before one dismisses these victories, Hopkins defeated Pascal before his two matches with Dawson; Johnson managed to give Carl Froch a tough time in the recently completed Super Six tournament and Tarver managed to win a Cruiserweight title. As for Adamek, he won a Cruiserweight title before making the move to the Heavyweight division and becoming a title contender among the big boys. What you can see is that even at their advance age, Hopkins, Johnson and Tarver were still close to the elite of their division and Adamek only loss before traveling into the Heavyweight division was to Dawson.

Ward journey began as a regular on SHOBOX Next generation where Showtime featured rising stars. Going into the Super Six both Ward and Andre Dirrell were the prospects with much to prove and the best American hope for the tournament was Jermain Taylor. Taylor lasted one fight in the Super Six as he suffered a fierce beating at the hands of Arthur Abraham. The two prospects took their step forward even though Dirrell participation in the tournament was derailed by injuries after a close loss to Froch and a victory over Abraham. Ward went from prospect to the best Super Middleweight in boxing deepest division as he upset Mikkel Kessler, pounded Allen Green and Abraham before winning the official Super Six tournament with a decisive victory over Froch. Froch later went on to knock out he previously undefeated Lucian Bute.
Dawson is the best light heavyweight in the world and his advantages lies in his quick rapier punches.

Dawson is not one punch knockout artist but he does have power. In his fight against Pascal, he nearly had Pascal out on his feet in the eleventh but the fight was stopped due to an accidental head butt and Dawson lost on points.

Pascal unorthodox style gave Dawson trouble but Pascal’s style has given other fighters difficulty. It took Hopkins four rounds in their first fight before he figured out Pascal and he nearly was stopped in the early rounds before taking control of the fight. Hopkins rough style and defense first before countering proved problematic for Dawson but Dawson found a way to win. Against Ward, he is fighting a young fast fighter who is one of the best boxer-puncher in boxing. Dawson will not be fighting an unorthodox fighter so Ward style will allow Dawson opportunities to use his own skills.

As for Ward, he is similar to Dawson in that he is not one punch knockout artist but his punches have popped. What separate Ward from other fighters is that he can fight inside and outside. He can box but he can fight effectively within another fighter wheelhouse. He is not easy to hit and even on the inside, he is capable of avoiding punches. The one thing that often is overlooked over Ward is his ability to adapt in the ring. Against Froch, he alternated fighting outside and boxing before going inside and outpunching the taller Froch.

Froch never could get set against Ward and Ward successfully showed diversity in attack. The most interesting aspect of the fight is that Dawson is moving down to the Super Middleweight division. Will the seven less pounds heighten Dawson’s power? What is more impressive is that two fighters are choosing to fight each other in a potentially great fight. This is a fight that should excite boxing fans for they could be witnessing a historical rivalry with each fighters having the strengths for the other fighter to neutralize This is a fight that both will have use their boxing savvy in the ring and not just their boxing talent.