By Adrian warren
Daniel Dawson is feeling no pressure to salvage Australia's sagging boxing reputation in the United States as he looks to reverse a depressing run of recent results suffered by other fighters.
The fighter from Kalgoorlie in WA takes on former WBA super welterweight champion Austin Trout in Temecula, California on Saturday Australian time.
No title will be at stake, but a victory for WBA 15th ranked Dawson over seventh rated Trout on American TV network ESPN would significantly improve the Australian's status and prospects of landing another world title shot.
In May 2010, Dawson was stopped in the 10th round by the then WBO junior middleweight champion Serhiy Dzinziruk, after taking the title bout at short notice.
Dawson (40-3-1, 26 KOs) will be the fifth Australian in as many weekends to appear on a major card in the US, with the previous four each losing a world title fight.
The only one defending a title was Sakio Bika, who lost the WBC super middleweight crown to American Anthony Dirrell on points in Carson, California last weekend.
Bika at least went the distance, while middleweights Daniel Geale and Jarrod Fletcher and light heavyweight Blake Caparello were each stopped by their respective opponent.
"I'm proud of all four Aussies, they stepped up a level," Dawson told AAP over the phone.
"For Australian boxing, in my opinion, it's still been a great thing, even though we didn't get the wins.
"It just shows how much we're improving and how many boys we've got that are up at that level.
"There's no pressure on me, I believe. I deserve to be at this level and I accept this challenge." Dawson 36, is back in the ring after an 11-month layoff, most of which was due to a shoulder reconstruction.
Trout 28, (26-2, 14 KOs) won his first 26 fights, one of which was a successful title defence against Australian Frank LoPorto, who along with Dzinziruk,and Daniel Geale are the only professionals to have defeated Dawson.
American Trout, whose list of victims also includes newly crowned WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, has lost his last two bouts to Saul Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.
"Trout's strength is his boxing ability," Dawson said.
"His jab and his defensive ability is what makes him so good.
"For me to beat that, I need to really work the combination punching, I need to establish my jab and counter his jab."