By Keith Idec
Chad Dawson doesn’t anticipate any issues Friday when he steps on the scale in Oakland, Calif., for his super middleweight title fight Saturday night against Andre Ward.
The 30-year-old Dawson hasn’t had to make the 168-pound limit in 6½ years, yet contends he feels “great” as his 12-round fight with Ward at Oracle Arena approaches (HBO; 9:45 p.m. EDT).
“A lot of people don’t understand that I come into training camp at 178, 180 pounds,” Dawson said. “I came into this camp at 180 pounds. Like I told everybody before, it’s not hard for me to make the weight. I put another extra mile on my run. I’m dieting, and that’s something that I haven’t done in years, and that’s diet.
“When I was fighting at light heavyweight, I was able to eat what I wanted and still go in and make the weight. So this camp, it was great. It just made me a little meaner, the fact that I can’t eat what I want and had to diet. So I’m ready for the weigh-in. I’ll jump on the scale at 167, probably, 168 pounds. And I’ll prove everybody wrong, the people who think I’m not going to make weight, that I’ll be drained and dehydrated. That’s not the case at all.”
Dawson dropping a division is large part of why the skilled southpaw from New Haven, Conn., is as much as a 4-1 underdog, according to some handicappers. The WBC light heavyweight champion’s trainer, John Scully, believes oddsmakers, Ward fans and everyone else doubting Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs, 2 NC) because he moved down is making a mistake.
“In other training camps, I didn’t monitor the food at all,” Scully said. “So I kind of assumed that he was dieting and eating the proper foods. And then, for this fight, I said, ‘Hey, are you sure you’re going to make ?’ He said, ‘Listen, all I’ve got to start to do is eating good.’ I didn’t realize that before, when we fought Hopkins, he beat Hopkins on a diet that I wouldn’t have chose.
“So now that he’s eating the proper foods, after discussing it with [one of Dawson’s assistants], it appears that it’s not going to be a problem at all. I’ve read a lot of blogs and people that are really focused on this weight thing, but I really think it’s a misguided direction of energy because I just don’t think it’s an issue.”
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.