Dawson vs. Ward: An impossible fight to pick a winner from
By Scott Gilfoid: What happens when you take the best fighters from their respective divisions and thrown them in the ring to go at it for 12 rounds? It’s impossible to know, because when you’re talking about the very best fighters from different divisions going at it, you can never tell who will come out on top.
In this case, I’m talking about the September 8th fight between WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO’s) facing Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KO’s) in what promises to be a thrilling bout at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Because Ward has exhausted most of the top fighters at 168, he’s now going after the top fighter at light heavyweight in 29-year-old Dawson. Both of these guys have no real competition at this time in their divisions. Ward would have some serious threats to him with the Dirrell brothers, but unfortunately Anthony was injured in a bad motorcycle accident recently, and Andre is sitting idle for whatever reason.
That leaves pretty much nobody that can challenge Ward. He was hoping that Carl Froch would be interested in stepping back up to the plate after getting spanked last December in the Super Six tournament. However, Froch has no interest in a second helping of Ward, and it’s hard to blame him. He was overmatched last time he fought Ward, and I can’t see anything improving for the Brit in a rematch.
The 6’3″ Dawson has excellent size, speed and athletic ability. He’s an athlete with really good boxing skills. Dawson is going to make it really tough on Ward, because the things that Ward has done in the past against weaker opposition, he won’t be able to count on doing against Dawson. Ward won’t be able to force his way to an inside war against Dawson, because he’s too fast, agile and strong to get pinned to the ropes.
Ward also won’t be able to count on being able to land his jabs all night long nor be able to land straight right hand leads. Those kinds of punches will be blocked by Dawson or ducked. Dawson has excellent defensive skills, and he adapts during the fight to what his opponents are doing. So if Dawson gets hit with some of Ward’s jabs early in the fight, you can bet that Dawson will make some adjustments in order to avoid getting hit again in the fight with those kinds of shots.
Ward can’t let Dawson keep the fight on the outside, because he doesn’t have the same reach as Dawson, and he won’t be able to win a jabbing ward on the outside. Dawson beats everyone by staying at a distance and jabbing and beating them with combinations.
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