No announcement yet.

Chad Dawson is the Latest Ex-Champ to Mount a Comeback

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Chad Dawson is the Latest Ex-Champ to Mount a Comeback

    Click image for larger version  Name:	D-GddlSXYAEz5gd.jpg Views:	1 Size:	54.2 KB ID:	13510

    By Arne K. Lang

    This past Saturday there were big shows in Houston and in Providence, Rhode Island, that went head-to-head on Showtime and DAZN respectively. Lost in the shadows was a little card at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut that included Chad Dawson, a man once fairly touted as the best fighter to come out of the Nutmeg State since Marlon Starling, if not Willie Pep.

    Dawson, who turns 37 next week, turned pro in 2001 after a stellar amateur career. Fighting out of New Haven, he won his first title in February of 2007, claiming the vacant WBC light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Tomasz Adamek. He made six successful defenses, adding the IBF diadem in the process, before losing the belt to Jean Pascal, and then came back to recapture the WBC belt, outpointing Bernard Hopkins in their second of two meetings. (Their first encounter ended controversially when Dawson lifted and threw Hopkins through the ropes late in the second round, forcing B-Hop to quit with a dislocated shoulder. Originally deemed a win by TKO for Dawson, it was subsequently changed to a technical draw and then changed again to a no-contest.)

    Decades from now, Dawson’s victory Hopkins (a majority decision that should have been unanimous) will likely be considered his signature win as it came against an all-time great. At the time, however, it did little to boost Dawson’s stock as he was fighting a 47-year-old man and was favored to win. Early in the fight, Chad’s manager, Gary Shaw, was seen exhorting him to be more aggressive, but that wasn’t his style.

    A slick southpaw in the mold of current middleweight title-holder Demetrius Andrade, Dawson was never a big draw. After defeating Hopkins, he had a choice to make: Defend his WBC (and lineal) belt in a rematch with Jean Pascal or drop down to 168 for a more lucrative engagement with Andre Ward. Dawson chose the latter and looking back one could say that he was penny wise and pound foolish.

    Dawson and Ward met on Sept. 8, 2012, on Ward’s turf in Oakland. On the day preceding the weigh-in, Dawson was seven pounds overweight. He was able to boil off the excess poundage, but entered the fight in a severely weakened condition. In fact, his trainer at the time, John Scully, encouraged him to pull out of the fight when it became obvious to him that it was going to be a real chore for Chad to make the weight.

    Had Dawson been in tip-top shape, it’s unlikely he could have defeated a man as talented as Andre Ward. However, he would have undoubtedly made a better showing. He was on the canvas three times before the referee mercifully halted the one-sided affray in the 10th stanza.

    Dawson was never the same after his beatdown by Ward. Nine months later, he lost his 175-pound strap in 76 seconds, shorn of it by Adonis Stevenson who leveled him with a terrific left hook. For this contest, Chad reunited with his former trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. Dawson was forever changing trainers. The aforementioned Scully, a local man, a former light heavyweight contender and world title challenger, was there for most of his early fights and for his two matches with Hopkins, but Dawson was also handled by Dan Birmingham, Floyd Mayweather Sr, and Emanuel Steward, among others.

    Sixteen months after his loss to Stevenson, Dawson suffered more misfortune when he blew out his shoulder early into his 10-round bout with Tommy Karpency in what was supposed to be a tune-up for a match with Eleider Alvarez. Dawson lost a split decision and was sidelined for 14 months.

    Dawson’s last fight against a top-tier opponent came on March 4, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn where he locked horns with Andrzej Fonfara on a show headlined by the welterweight title fight between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. Dawson was comfortably ahead after seven frames but faded and was stopped in the 10th. He retired following that setback but like most former champions the itch to return became too strong and so he was back in the ring on Saturday at a familiar stomping ground, Foxwoods, where he met Quinton Rankin, a free swinger from North Carolina with a 15-5-2 ledger (a soft 15-5-2 as Rankin had defeated only four fighters with a winning record).

    It was an 8-round contest and Dawson, although dropped by an uppercut in the fifth round (it was a flash knockdown; he wasn’t hurt) prevailed by a unanimous decision, upping his record to 35-5-2. Chad won six of the eight rounds on two of the cards and all eight rounds on the third.

    What’s next for Chad Dawson? Eastern Europeans currently dominate the light heavyweight division. The current champions are Dmitry Bivol (WBA), Oleksandr Gvozdyk (WBC), Artur Beterbiev (IBF), and Sergey Kovalev (WBO). Dawson believes in his heart that he could beat any of them.

    We would like to dispel him of this notion, but understand that it’s hard for a fighter of high repute now on the wrong side of the hill to come to grips with the fact that he can never be as good as he once was.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    When he broke with Scully, that was a terrible mistake.


    • #3
      I openly predicted his 2014 loss to Tommy Karpensy. ✍️


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        And Tommy was and is no world beater