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Dawson faces long road back

dawson1By Nick Reynolds: Three punches. All Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 knockouts) needed was one of them.

In the 76th second of Saturday night’s main event at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Adonis Stevenson launched a thunderous left cross that sent (now former) WBC light heavyweight champion of the world, Chad Dawson (31-3, 17 knockouts), crumbling to the canvas. Dawson managed to awkwardly stumble back to his feet to survive the ten count, but referee Michael Griffin deemed Dawson unfit to continue, and the fight was halted.

Once an up and coming boxing star, Dawson has now suffered back to back losses — each of which came in stunningly dominant and embarrassing fashion. First it was Andre Ward back in September of 2012. Ward TKO’d Dawson in the tenth round of that fight, and in the process sent Dawson to the floor three times. Dawson would then go on to claim post fight that he was weak due to the draining he had to do in order to shrink down to an uncomfortable 168 pounds to meet Ward.

Maybe we can give Chad the benefit of the doubt on that one.

However Saturday night there would be no such luxury of having a ready-made, built-in excuse. Dawson was back to the weight where he was and is most comfortable (by his own admission), and that’s at 175. This was supposed to be a different, rejuvenated Chad Dawson. The Chad Dawson of old. The Chad Dawson who was once, for a brief time, considered a top fifteen or even top ten pound for pound boxer.

And then came the third (landed) punch of the fight by Adonis Stevenson. The third.


Chad Dawson began his promising career 29-0. Since then? He’s 2-3 with a no contest. Not good. But Chad’s only 30, and his talent didn’t all of a sudden evaporate into the air. It’s not over for him. But the sense of urgency he’s facing at this point of his career — well lets just say that if he’s not panicking, he should be. Because it’s officially crisis mode time for Chad Dawson.

Who knows, perhaps Ward’s demolition of him back on that September night in Oakland took something out of Chad that he’ll never get back. It’s been known to happen. Or maybe Adonis Stevenson is just that good.

Ward’s already a star. And Stevenson is possibly on his way to becoming one, thanks in large part to his one punch destruction witnessed Saturday night.

As for Chad Dawson, the road back to respectability starts now. May as well get comfortable, Chad.

It figures to be a long ride back.

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