By Keith Idec
Andre Ward has a better understanding than most of just how much weight can impact a high-level prizefight.
Ward dominated Chad Dawson on Saturday night in the WBC light heavyweight champion’s first fight in 6½ years at super middleweight. Josesito Lopez is moving up to challenge heavily favored Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, not down, but Ward gives Lopez a significantly better shot at pulling off an upset than he did Dawson, who was about a 3-1 underdog against Ward in an HBO main event for Ward’s WBA/WBC super middleweight titles.
The 28-year-old Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), who stopped Dawson during the 10th round, acknowledged that Lopez’s weight disadvantage could be a factor Saturday night when he fights for Alvarez’s WBC super welterweight title at MGM Grand (Showtime; 9 p.m. EDT). Still, Ward wouldn’t be surprised if Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC), of Riverside, Calif., pulled off a second straight huge upset against the unbeaten Mexican who already has a 40-0-1 record, including 29 knockouts, despite that he is just 22.
“Josesito is an underdog, but he’s a live underdog,” Ward said during ESPN2’s broadcast Thursday night from Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. “He’s in this fight. … A guy like Josesito, who’s a Rocky-type guy, you can never count him out.”
Ward, who was 3-1 favorite over Dawson, is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, which represents Lopez, along with Thompson Boxing.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.