Stevenson vs. Dawson review & look at how Chad can bounce back
By Peter Wells (twitter @boxingbrains): It took barely more than a minute, for a fight expected by most to last the full 12 rounds, to end. No surprise though in the man scoring the one punch KO, as Haiti-Canadian Adonis Stevenson landed a looping left hand to the jaw of Chad Dawson.
‘Bad’ Chad staggering to his feet was left once again to pick up the pieces after consecutive defeats and his 3rd of his career. Although the early defeat won’t have the same effects physically on Dawson as the previous two, but the concern is what has this defeat done to Dawson mentally.
A defeat like this to a fighter moving up in weight and considered by most to be the inferior fighter, can become a huge blow for a fighters career.
On the other side of the morale ladder is the jubilant but, judging by his impeccable self confidence, not quite surprised Adonis Stevenson. Adonis ‘Superman’ had rattled Dawson before the bout had even began – a brawl nearly broke out at the weigh in the day before – and rattled him further when his trademark punch made exactly the kind of impact Stevenson had been dreaming about.
Now the WBC Light Heavyweight champion, Adonis can suddenly start making the demands for his dream fights, at both 175lbs and 168lbs (if he can still make the latter). Stevenson will likely face mandatory challenger Tony Bellew next.
Although a big fan of Bellew, I see Stevenson as the victor in that fight. If Stevenson does indeed dispatch of Bellew then a lucrative fight in Canada lies in wait against the winner of Lucian Bute-Jean Pascal.
Then there is always the option of moving back down to Super Middleweight, where the likes of Carl Froch and Andre Ward await. All in all the future certainly is bright for this ‘Superman’.
The question now is…Where next for Chad Dawson? Firstly he must sit down, look around and see who is still by his side. Then he must tread carefully, select the right opponent, and with any luck he can regain some of that lost confidence. Re-gaining confidence is the first and most important step.
As far as his style goes, himself and his team must start to look at ways he can change the way he fights. This isn’t down to the fact that some fans find him boring to watch – because let’s be honest if he changes his style to be more exciting and gets KO’d all the time no one would watch him anyway.
Winning is far more important than pleasing, simple as that. But as things stand opponents are having far too much time to pick shots, move around, and look like they are doing more work – because they are.
Chad’s best weapon is his jab, yet he just does not throw the punch half as much as he should. If he can keep opponents at the end of his jab, it makes things so much easier for him to land hard right hands, this may even generate a few knockdowns or knockouts.
Variety of punches is also key to success. There is always a chance that Chad has a certain punch that may just work for him, maybe a left hook or an uppercut, this is where Dawson needs to experiment in training. If stamina is a worry then this must be addressed in training to ensure Dawson can work more without the worry of gassing.
Finally for myself, Chad’s footwork leaves a lot to be desired, once again this could come down to the fear of tiring himself out. But quite simply to bounce back Dawson needs to be lighter on his feet – and I don’t mean bouncing around on his toes constantly for no good reason – by just simply stepping around the ring more, maybe at a higher tempo, and don’t allow patient fighters like Ward and Stevenson the time to pick their shots.
All this can sound very simple, but it can be very hard for a fighter to change the way he fights, but for Dawson this could be key to changing his career around. One thing is for sure he is still a supremely talented boxer, who is yet to fulfill that potential.