By Keith Idec
Handicappers have made Andre Ward about a 3-1 favorite over Chad Dawson, despite Dawson’s impressive resume.
Dawson doesn’t mind.
“I don’t take offense to [the odds] at all,” Dawson recently stated to promote their 12-round fight Sept. 8 in Oakland, Calif. “All I can say is that they’re making the wrong bet. My training camp has been great. I’m not worried about being the underdog. I’ve never been in this position before. Maybe it’s about time I am in that position. It’s going to give me fuel and it’s going to make me a better fighter.”
The 30-year-old Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs, 2 NC) is a significant underdog largely because the WBC light heavyweight champion has moved down to 168 pounds to fight for Ward’s WBA and WBC super middleweight titles and because he’ll travel to Ward’s backyard. The skilled southpaw from New Haven, Conn., will challenge the 28-year-old Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) at Oracle Arena, approximately a 20-minute drive from Ward’s hometown of Hayward, Calif.
Dawson welcomed those challenges, though, so he isn’t about to complain about the 2004 Olympic gold medalist’s perceived advantages as their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event approaches.
“When I announced I wanted to fight Andre Ward on HBO, I said 168 or a catch weight, or we could do 175,” Dawson said, referring to calling out Ward after beating Bernard Hopkins in their rematch April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. “That’s what I said, and they said 168. I’m not the type of person to go back and forth. I told my promoter, Gary Shaw, ‘Make the fight. I’ll do 168. And I’ll go to Oakland.’
“I gave him every advantage, and I think that credits my ability and what I know I’m capable of, and what I know I can do in the ring. I don’t care that the fight is in Oakland. I don’t care that it’s at 168 pounds and I know that everything’s going to go my way.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.