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Dawson vs. Tarver on October 11th — Boxing News

Antonio Tarver Glen JohnsonBy Scott Gilfoid: Former World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (27-0, 17 KOs) will take on IBF light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver (27-4, 19 KOs) on October 11th, at the Palms Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tarver, now 39, is coming off an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over Clinton Woods in April to win the title. However, this will be the biggest test for Tarver since facing Bernard Hopkins in June 2006.

Tarver was soundly beaten by Hopkins, losing by a one-sided 12-round decision. Tarver, though, remains upbeat and confident about his chances against Dawson, saying “As soon as I land a punch, it is going to be over.” By listening to Tarver, it seems as if he’s thinking in terms of his shocking one-punch 2nd round knockout of Roy Jones Jr. in May 2004. In the case of Dawson, 26, also a southpaw, Tarver will be facing not only a younger fighter, but also one that is faster and punches from the same side as him. If Tarver hopes to win the fight, he’s going to have to do it in the later rounds, because Dawson often is at his best for the first six to eight rounds of his fight, and is almost unbeatable during that time frame.

Tarver is going to have to take hint from Glen Johnson’s performance against Dawson, in which Johnson was able to apply a lot of pressure against Dawson in the second half of the fight and make the fight very close. Tarver, however, isn’t much of a pressure fighter, instead choosing to box from the outside where he mostly pecks away with his long jab and straight left hand. In this case, he won’t have the height advantage that he normally does, as Dawson is an inch and half taller than Tarver at 6’3 1/2″, making this a difficult fight for the older Tarver.

Tarver had been hoping that Joe Calzaghe, who recently defeated Hopkins, might look his way for a bout. Unfortunately, Calzaghe opted for the lesser threat by choosing to fight Roy Jones Jr. For his part, Dawson decided to give up his World Boxing Council light heavyweight title rather than have to travel to Romania to fight Romanian Adrian Diaconu. It was a wise decision by Dawson, since he would have made less money for a fight that would have been tough for him considering that Diaconu would be the hometown fighter and would likely have the benefit of the doubt by the judges if the fight were in any way close.

Both Tarver and Dawson have a common opponent in Glen Johnson, whom Tarver lost to in 2004, but then avenged his defeat with a close 12-round unanimous decision a year later in 2005. Perhaps getting his memory a little confused about the second fight with Johnson, Tarver had this to say about the fight, “Dawson had to step up and fight for life or death against Glen Johnson. I ran over Glen Johnson.”

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