Ward: Dawson has a lot to prove against Adonis Stevenson
By Eric Thomas: WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward feels that the recently beaten WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KO’s) needs to prove that he’s still a world class fighter in his next bout against Adonis Stevenson (20-1, 17 KO’s) next month on June 8th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Ward totally dominated Dawson and stopped him in the 10th round last September and the way that Dawson looked in that fight, he appeared to be a shell of what he was years ago.
Ward said to RingTV “I think he [Dawson] has to show that he still has it…that he is who the fans are used to seeing, and that’s the old Chad Dawson…that he can still take a shot, and that he can deal with a strong guy like Stevenson.”
Dawson reportedly had been knocked out in sparring by Edison Miranda in the weeks before his fight with Ward, and that was a really bad sign going into the fight.
After the bout, Dawson complained that the effects of having to take off 7 pounds to get down to 168 to fight Ward had left him weakened and weight drained. That may be, but Dawson hasn’t looked really sharp since his win over Epifanio Mendoza six years ago in 2007.
Following that fight, Dawson struggled in two fights against Glen Johnson and two fights with Antonio Tarver, and then lost to Jean Pascal, and failed to impress in beating Adrian Diaconu in May of 2011 and then had the two fights with Hopkins.
It’s not as if Dawson’s poor showing against Ward was unexpected because he hadn’t been looking good in a long, long time and his legs had started to look heavy back in the Diacunu fight.
Stevenson will knock Dawson out if he’s able to find his chin the way that Ward did. Dawson is going to have to do whatever he can to try and keep the action on the outside because if he lets Stevenson get in punching range, he’s going to knock him out easily.
I think potentially this is a really bad match-up for Dawson and I think he’s going to be in over his head with this one. Stevenson is too fast, too strong and he’ll have the large Montreal crowd solidly behind him in this fight. Dawson is asking for trouble in agreeing to come to Canada to take this fight.
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