Dawson vs. Stevenson: Chad is going to have to let his hands go if he wants to beat Adonis
By Allan Fox: WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KO’s) is going to have to change up his game next month in his title defense against Adonis Stevenson (30-1, 17 KO’s) on June 8th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Dawson, 30, will be fighting Adonis in his adopted country and the judges probably aren’t going to give Dawson a lot of rounds if he fights in his usual economical style that he’s been using for quite some time.
Since 2010, Dawson has been doing just enough to win his fights. He’s not consistent and seems to take a lot of valuable rounds off for some reason. It doesn’t look like it’s a stamina thing, but rather more of a mental thing where he seems to lose focus/interest in the fight for periods. Dawson can’t afford to do that against Adonis because he’ll get knocked out if he disengages mentally from the fight.
In his last fight, Dawson was stopped in the 10th round by Andre Ward last September. In fairness to Dawson, it probably wouldn’t have mattered had he been busy in that fight or not. Ward was simply the much better fighter from start to finish, and Dawson appeared weakened due to him draining down from 175 to take the fight.
That was a big mistake on Dawson’s part to agree to facing Ward at his weight rather than a catchweight or asking him to move up to 175 to fight him. It wouldn’t have been a problem for Ward to fight Dawson at 175 because he rehydrates past that weight for his super middleweight fights.
Dawson has the better skills than Stevenson and he’s definitely capable of out-boxing him to a decision, but he’s going to have to let his hands go in this fight if he wants to get the victory. Stevenson is the bigger puncher and he’s going to be landing the harder shots in every round.
The only thing that Dawson can do to counteract this is to be the busier fighter, and to be hard to hit on defense. If the judges see Stevenson missing a lot then they’ll be more inclined to give Dawson rounds even if he’s not the busier fighter.