By Luis Sandoval
“Bad” Chad Dawson makes his return to the ring and also to the Light Heavyweight division this Saturday night as he will take on hard hitting Adonis Stevenson at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Dawson will be defending his title for the first time after making an unsuccessful drop in weight to take on Super Middleweight kingpin Andre Ward last September.
Dawson was stopped for the first time in his career as he was fighting at 168 pounds for the first time since 2006. The drop in weight affected Dawson’s performance as he seemed zapped and was down three times in the fight before it was called off. When Dawson was on the most recent episode of BoxingScene Radio, he still gave Ward credit for the win but he knows the weight affected his performance that night.
“At the end of the day people are going to say what they want to say. Some people who are smart enough and intelligent enough [will] see that the weight took a toll on me. And there are some people that don't want to say that was the case. Like I said, I rolled the dice and came up short. I give all the credit in the world to Andre Ward. He did was he was supposed to do and he got the victory but now I'm back at my weight class I'm going to erase the memories of that fight not only in my head, but the fans too. On Saturday night I'm going to show everybody that I'm still the best Light Heavyweight in the world” Dawson would tell BoxingScene Radio.
Ward received plenty of accolades for his dominant victory that night regardless of Dawson’s performance being hindered by the weight loss. In essence, both fighters had agreed to terms to make the fight happen but Dawson still felt people behind the scenes gave Ward the upper hand in getting the fight made.
“My honest opinion is it was definitely a set up by HBO and other people too. It was set up for me to come in at 168. I would be vulnerable and they could expose it and he would look good at the same time. That's just my opinion on the whole situation. We could've done it at a catch weight where we both would've been comfortable but they wanted it at 168. They wanted me to come to Oakland. And I know HBO has high hopes for Andre Ward. I know they have high hopes for him and they want to make him this big champion but that's water under the bridge for me” said the reigning WBC Light Heavyweight champion.
“I want to continue to do what I do at Light Heavyweight. I want to continue being the great champion that I am and just be myself on Saturday night and show everyone that I haven't lost anything. If anything I gained something. I gained the smarts to know that 168 pounds is not my division. I didn't belong there in the first place and I'm going to keep stressing to everybody too; I took a gamble and I lost and I did something a lot of champions wouldn't do. It took a lot of heart and a lot of courage to do what I did and I did it.”
Despite everything that went down, Dawson would still be open to a rematch with Ward who at the moment appears to be having a tough time finding a suitable opponent. If a second fight were to happen between both fighters, Dawson assures it would need to be at 175.
“If the Ward fight happens again, it'll definitely have to be at 175. I did everything that was asked of me in the fight in September. I went down in weight and went to Oakland. In the rematch it would have to be 175 and I don't want to go back to Oakland. We have to do it in a neutral place or do it in my backyard. That's the only option” said Dawson.
To listen to Chad Dawson’s interview in its entirety, you can listen to the BoxingScene Radio podcast: http://tobtr.com/s/4803485
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene Radio, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.