A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
No longer the future, Chad Dawson annihilated in one round
‘Bad’ Chad Dawson, in defense of the WBC light-heavyweight championship he won by outpointing Bernard Hopkins in April 2012, looked terrible last Saturday, as Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 KOs), a super middleweight title contender moving up to the 175-pound weight division, annihilated Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs) on just 71 seconds.
Dawson-Stevenson was the main event of an HBO World Championship Boxing broadcast from the Bell Center in Montreal, Canada.
Dawson was labeled as the future of the light-heavyweight class, following his brilliant 12-round beat-down of Antonio Tarver in October 2008. In five years, although he has followed through with repeat victories against Tarver, Hopkins, and Glen Johnson, the previous kingpins of the 175-pound class, Dawson’s performances have steadily declined, declined, and declined to the point that Hopkins, at age 48, has reestablished himself as the top light-heavyweight in the world.
In the first fight with Tarver, Dawson three-four-five-punch combinations and was consistent with his attack against Tarver. Dawson used his legs and boxed very well behind a quick and very strong southpaw-right jab. Dawson, who already held a victory over light-heavyweight champion turned heavyweight title contender Tomasz Adamek in February 2007, was placed on the map and recognized amongst the very best at 175.
Although Dawson repeated his win over Tarver in May 2009 and beat Johnson once more in November ‘09, Dawson’s showings progressively got worse. His first fight against Hopkins at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (2008), ended after he elevated Hopkins off his feet and body slammed him onto the canvas and was declared a second-round no contest. Dawson’s decision win against Adrian Diaconu in Montreal was uneventful and uninspiring. Even worst was his performance against Jean Pascal. Dawson looked so bad, Pascal, a fast and athletic fighter that looks to avoid pressure or contact of any kind, looked like Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquaio rolled into one. Pascal was tagging Dawson like crazy and even tried to stop him on several occasions.
Just when you thought Dawson’s performance couldn’t get any worse, he moved down to super middleweight to challenge unified WBA/WBC 168-pound champion and World Boxing Classic: Super Six Tournament winner Andre Ward, a true boxing protégé. Ward stopped Dawson in ten rounds.
Moving back up to 175, Dawson, fought another super middleweight title contender in Adonis Stevenson, not a great boxer, but a devastating puncher and at age 35, a fight with Dawson most likely would be his only chance at winning a world title. Stevenson took full advantage of that opportunity by knocking Dawson out with a single left-hook to the face. Dawson was drilled on his back instantly and was extremely slow to return to his feet. He didn’t’ even respond to the referee’s inquiry as to whether he was alright.
The victory was so huge for Stevenson that he can finally justify his 18 KOs in 20 fights. He can justify the guys with inflated records. Stevenson can believably explain why he lost to fringe contender Darnell Boone (16-15) three years ago because, he was still learning the sport. Stevenson can justify his unrecognizable record by more than just the opponents he knocked out. The one big fight Stevenson had that meant anything occurred in front of a worldwide audience in a big spot against ‘the best,’ and he scored a spectacular knockout that was quickly picked up by Youtube, Google, Yahoo, and ESPN.
As Stevenson’s star has arisen in the light-heavyweight division, Dawson’s once bright star has at finally set. Dawson, like so many young fighters, stopped improving as a fighter and as a ‘student of the game’ once the HBO and SHOWTIME checks start rolling in. Dawson’s reign as light-heavyweight champion is as well documented, as his steady decline. Just watch the tapes. When was the last time Dawson was in a good compelling fight, in which he was razor sharp? Is Dawson’s career over? Obviously not, but we can no longer label him as ‘the future’ or ‘the best’ at 175.
Sergio Martinez update
WBC middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO’s) was in New York running some important errands during the weekend of the International Boxing Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canastota. In his previous bout in April, Martinez, in front of a hometown audience of more than 50,000 at the Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield, in Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina, successfully defended his middleweight title for the sixth time.
“I am honored to be invited again to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and I am looking forward to participating in the weekend’s festivities and meeting all of the boxing fans that will be in attendance,” Martinez said prior to all the festivities.
Martinez, promoted by Lou DiBella’s company DiBella Entertainment, has made a wonderful, wonderful career for himself since signing with HBO in 2008. Martinez was always a terrific fighter, but his performances on HBO has helped take his career to higher level as widely recognized as ‘the best middleweight in the world.’ HBO sat with Martinez recently in New York to discuss options for his next fight.
Martinez’ stellar performances against Paul Williams (whom he fought twice), Kelly Pavlik, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Matthew Macklin, Darrin Barker, and Serhiy Dzinziruk, has warranted 10 consecutive fights on HBO. Martinez’ last seven opponents have a combined record of a startling 234-5-2. We’ve watched Martinez suffer knockdowns, but he has always risen off the canvas to win in style.
Injuries, however, have slowed Martinez and he will be out of action until early 2014.
Maidana TKOs Lopez, wins third straight
Former WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Rene Maidana (34-3-1, 31 KOs), or Argentina, won his third consecutive fight by KO by stopping Josesito Lopez (30-6, 18 KOs), of California, in the sixth round of an exciting SHOWTIME Championship Boxing event in front of more than 8,600 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA on Saturday.
“What we saw tonight is what the people want to see,” Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions said afterward. “What do you want to see next? The Broner-Malignaggi (June 22, at Barclays Center on SHOWTIME) vs. Maidana? Oh my God, now that would be exciting. That would be an amazing matchup.
Maidana, famous for his thrilling knockout victory of Victor Ortiz (2008) and his exciting 12-round war with Amir Khan (2011), engaged Lopez in a potential ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate. But Lopez, as evident in his upset win against Ortiz and his brutal loss to Canelo Alvarez, displayed plenty of heart and soul by simply fighting Maidana back.
However, while trailing behind on two of the three official judges’ scorecards 47-48 and ahead 48-47 on the third card, Maidana ended the fight in round six after landing an overhand right that staggered Lopez.
“My character and my guts got me this victory,” said Maidana, who retained his WBA Intercontinental Welterweight Championship. “In the second round, he hit me in my hip and it felt like I was paralyzed. The pain lasted for two rounds and that’s when he landed the shots, but my desire to win got me through it. He underestimated my power and I knew I could knock him out.
Lara survives, stops Angulo
Former Cuban amateur star Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12 KO’s) overcame a pair of knockdowns to stop hard-hitting Mexican, Alfredo Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) in the tenth round to claim the vacant interim WBA super welterweight title.
“Angulo started tough but I hung in there,” said Lara, who was dropped in rounds four and nine. “I knew I was still in the fight after I got knocked down. I knew I was still winning.”
The fight was stopped after Lara apparently broke Angulo’s orbital bone above his left eye. The referee stopped the fight with Lara leading on two scorecards 85-84 and trailing Angulo 83-86 on the third card.
Lara is in the running for a title fight with Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto on September 28, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The undercard: Also, undefeated Jermell Charlo (21-0, 10 KO’s) unanimously outpointed Demetrius Hopkins (33-3-1, 13 KO’s) after twelve rounds. All three judges had it 115-113. Interim WBA 135-pound champion Johan Perez (17-1-1, 12 KO’s) defeated Yoshihiro Kamegai (22-1-1, 19 KO’s), via 10-round unanimous decision by scores of 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93. Former USC football player Gerald Washington (8-0, 5 KO’s) outpointed veteran Sherman Williams (35-13-2, 19 KO’s) after eight rounds. The judges had it: 79-72 across the board.
2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (6-1, 3 KO’s) TKO’d Rigoberto Casillas (8-11-1, 6 KO’s) after he didn’t come out of his corner for the final round.