Scully: Dawson wants Ward to come inside on him this Saturday
By Eric Thomas: John Scully, the trainer for WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KO’s), believes that Dawson actually wants WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO’s) to come inside on him this Saturday night when the two fighters meet in an HBO televised fight at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California.
Scully told RingTV “I actually think, and Chad can tell you better, but I think that Chad wants him [Ward] to come like that…There is so much talent and power and explosiveness that the fact is he’s never shown.”
No one ever fights Dawson inside because he’s so strong that he’s able to immediately get out of that situation when he finds himself there. He’s not stupid. Dawson doesn’t let guys crowd him like that without stepping away with his excellent footwork to get back to the outside, and that’s what makes him so hard to fight. He’s strong and light enough on his feet to maneuver himself out of being crowded by pressure fighters like Ward. At the same time, Dawson’s not a bad fighter on the inside. He’s got a great uppercut and he goes to the body real well. However, he’s not going to just stay on the inside for extended periods of time just because Ward is pushing and shoving him against the ropes. Dawson is strong enough to fight out of that and get back to the middle of the ring where he can use his height and reach advantage to box Ward.
Ward used to be a good outside fighter three years ago, but something has happened to his game where he no longer tries to fight on the outside for any length of time. It’s about him landing a jab or a long lead right hand followed by a lunge to the inside to clinch punch while in close. Ward has become predictable in what he does. It could be that he’s starting to age at 28, and can move around on the outside like he did in his early to mid-20s. A fighter slows down sometimes when they reach their late 20s to early 30s, and they have to adapt to the loss of footwork and stamina by mauling their opponents in prolonged clinches the way that Ward does.
Dawson, 30, is clearly the better outside fighter compared to Ward, and he’s able to dominate for long stretches without ever needing to to come inside for rest breaks or mauling like Dawson typically does. If Dawson can keep the fight in the middle of the ring he’s going to beat Ward by a comfortable decision.