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Dawson-Diaconu: Chad looks to punch his ticket for a fight against Hopkins-Pascal winner

Adrian Diaconu Bernard Hopkins Chad Dawson Jean PascalBy Jason Kim: Former IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 KO’s) is hoping to set himself up for a big money fight against the winner of Saturday’s bout between 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins and WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. To get the winner of that fight, the 28-year-old Dawson has to beat the hard-throwing Romanian Adrian Diaconu (27-2, 15 KO’s) on the Hopkins-Pascal II undercard.

For Dawson, Diaconu presents a much different type of fighter than the ones he’s been facing the past few years. Diaconu doesn’t have the speed that Pascal possessed when he was able to beat Dawson last year by an 11th round technical decision in August. Diaconu also isn’t a boxer like Antonio Tarver, who Dawson fought twice between 2008 and 2009. Diaconu also isn’t a pressure fighter like Glen Johnson, another fighter that Dawson fought and beat twice. Diaconu is a hard puncher that looks to take out his opponents with clubbing shots, but he doesn’t apply nearly as much pressure as a guy like Johnson. Diaconu needs to take breaks and rest up between heavy assaults. He’s not going to jump on Dawson and try to overwhelm him the way that Johnson tried.

This can be a tough fight for Dawson if he doesn’t make changes to his game from the way that he’s been fighting in the past. He can’t just allow Diaconu to walk up on him and throw on the inside. And Dawson can’t take rest breaks himself the way’s done in many of his fights in the past several years. He’s got to use his jab and move constantly. And above all, Dawson has to let his hands go more and throw more combinations. Dawson has a new trainer now in Emanuel Steward, and supposedly he fixed those problems in Dawson’s game.

It remains to be seen whether Steward has or can fix those problems. Dawson has been pretty resistant to following his trainer’s advice in between rounds in many of his fights. It’s not that he purposely ignores what’s being said to him, but rather he just doesn’t seem to apply the things he’s being told in between rounds. If Steward can make changes to Dawson and get him to follow advice, we’ll see an easy win for him on Saturday against Diaconu. If Dawson doesn’t follow what Steward is telling him, this is going to be hellish fight for Dawson and one he may still win but he won’t shine and look impressive. Dawson needs to really impress after his poor performance against a beatable Pascal last year. That was a fight that Dawson could have easily won if he used his jab and threw more punches.

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