By Tom Cowan: This Saturday, WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson faces Canadian challenger Adonis Stevenson at the Bell Centre, Montreal. Dawson is coming off a stoppage loss to Andre Ward, while Stevenson is coming off a win against Darnell Boone which avenged the only loss of his career so far.
Dawson was meant to fight Jean Pascal in an attempt to avenge his 2011 defeat but Pascal opted instead for an all-Canadian fight with former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute but an injury to Bute meant that fight had to be put back to December. Stevenson was supposed to be fighting Bute’s conqueror Carl Froch but the Brit opted to take a unification fight against Mikkel Kessler, which meant he could avoid Stevenson, his mandatory challenger. Stevenson wasn’t willing to wait until October or November to face Froch so he’s moved up a division to face Bad Chad.
This is a good match-up for both fighters because it gives Stevenson the opportunity to establish himself on the world stage and it gives Dawson an opportunity to show he’s still in his prime after some poor performances in his last few fights, particularly his loss to Ward. I don’t think we’ll see Dawson drain down to super middleweight again because he looked tired and vulnerable after two rounds against Ward. There’s still opportunities for good fights at 175lbs against Pascal, Bute, Nathan Cleverly or Beibut Shumenov as well as fights against Ward, Froch or Kessler if they would be willing to step up a division. On his day, Dawson can give any fighter problems but he has to be busier than he has been in recent fights.
Stevenson has had a great career so far, but Dawson is a huge step up from the likes of Don George and Jesus Gonzales. He’s a southpaw like Dawson and has serious power in his left hand and he’s capable of throwing solid combinations. Stevenson seems to be a bit defensively limited but I think the fact that Dawson hasn’t stopped anybody since 2007 shows that it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to exposed the Canadian’s limited defense the way powerful Darnell Boone did when he stopped Stevenson in 2010.
If Dawson can stay busy for the full three minutes every round he has the quality to outbox Stevenson which will silence the Canadian crowd. If Stevenson gets on top and starts landing some big shots and gets his home crowd going crazy I think he could knock Dawson out.
I’m not sure Dawson is the same fighter he once was and I have a feeling that the less ring-worn, hungry Stevenson could cause a slight upset and stop Dawson inside the distance.
Prediction – Adonis “Superman” Stevenson to win by 11th round TKO