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#1
Old 10-08-2012, 09:49 PM
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Default Dawsow and Scully on Miranda KO and Weight issues. [Thomas Hauser]

http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/...-dawsons-ko-by
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Boxing is war. And while the essence of ring combat is truth, a lot of what goes on behind the scenes is neither honorable nor honest. With that in mind, there’s an issue relating to the September 8th fight in Oakland between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson that should be explored.

Ward entered the fight with an unblemished 25-and-0 record. By virtue of his “super six” tournament conquests, he was widely recognized as super-middleweight champion of the world. Dawson sported a 30-and-1 ledger and was the #1 light-heavyweight in boxing.

Prior to the bout, rumors circulated that Dawson had been knocked down and badly hurt by Edison Miranda in a sparring session. Team Dawson denied the rumors. Walter Kane (Chad’s attorney) says that, to his knowledge, no one from the California State Athletic Commission asked anyone in the Dawson camp about them. Dawson underwent the usual pro forma pre-fight medical examination, but that’s all.

In the fight itself, Chad looked tentative and weak. He’d been knocked down twice before in his career; by Eric Harding in 2006 and Tomasz Adamek a year later. Each time, he’d gotten up and won a unanimous decision by a comfortable margin.

Ward knocked Dawson down in the third, fourth, and tenth rounds en route to a tenth-round stoppage. Andre is a superb fighter, but he’s not a knockout puncher. In Ward’s previous eight outings, the only opponent he’d KO’d was Shelby Pudwell (who was knocked out by John Duddy in one round). In the entire “Super Six” tournament, Andre didn’t knock an opponent down.

After Ward-Dawson, the rumors multiplied. Miguel Diaz told BoxingScene.com that, in the ninth round of a ten-round sparring session, “Miranda executed something that I'd been telling him to do the whole workout - left, right hand, left hook - and he knocked him [Dawson] down. It was devastating for me because I don't want to see something like that, but it happened. He was hurt. He tried to get up. He went down again and got up. I screamed to Rafael Garcia [Dawson’s assistant trainer], 'Come and help him.'"

On September 14th, Diaz told this writer that Dawson was knocked down by Miranda, fell on his face, tried to get up, and pitched face-first into the ring ropes.

On September 19th, John Scully (Dawson’s trainer) added fuel to the fire when he sent out a mass email that read, “Just a note for future reference: If before a big fight - or ANY fight, really - it doesn't matter if my boxer has gotten hit by a tractor trailer three days ago, been dropped seven times in sparring, lost 42 pounds in the steam room over the course of one week, and just GOT dropped to his knees in the gym five minutes before you ask . . . I'm still telling you he feels great. What else can a fighter or his trainer be expected to say?”

So what really happened?

This past week, I spoke with Kane, Scully, and Dawson. They all told me the same thing.

“I got knocked down,” Chad acknowledged. “But it was a flash knockdown. I wasn’t hurt. I got back up right away and finished the rest of the sparring session. Stuff like that happens all the time in boxing. The only reason we didn’t talk about it was, I knew people would make a big deal out of it and it wasn’t a big deal.”

Scully elaborated on that theme, saying, “Chad was sparring ten rounds that day. He got hit with a left hook in the ninth round. He went down. He got up. He was fine. He finished the round and then he finished the next round, so he sparred all ten rounds, which was what we planned for the day.”

“There’s some self-serving talk in what Miguel Diaz is saying,” Scully added. “That might be why he’s exaggerating the way he is. If you read what Miguel said, it was Miranda hit Chad with a combination that Miguel was telling him to throw. Do you really think that we would have allowed Chad to finish the round and then spar another round after that if he’d been hurt like Miguel says?”

“I wasn’t in the gym,” Kane told me. “But I heard the rumors and I asked about them. I believe what Chad and Scully are saying.”

I believe Chad and Scully too.

But that raises another issue. Suppose Dawson had been dazed or, worse, concussed? What would have been the proper course of action to follow?

The issue might be defused insofar as Chad is concerned. But it’s still out there for incidents involving other fighters in the future.

We live in the real world. Boxing is about making money. The bigger the fight, the more money will be lost if a fight is cancelled because a fighter has suffered a debilitating blow to the head in training.

Here, the thoughts of Dr. Margaret Goodman (former chief ringside physician and chairperson of the medical advisory board for the Nevada State Athletic Commission) are instructive.

“You don’t have to be knocked unconscious to suffer a concussion,” Dr. Goodman says. “That’s one reason a ring doctor evaluates each fighter immediately after every fight. There’s only one thing to do if a fighter is dazed in the gym. You take him to an emergency room or a comparable facility with similarly skilled doctors to be evaluated immediately. And you keep him there for a while after he has been examined so he can be observed by trained professionals.”

“There are no studies that I’m aware of on this point,” Dr. Goodman continues. “But my educated guess is that, more often than not when a fighter dies in a fight, it comes after he was hurt in the gym. If someone suffers a concussion, even a minor concussion, and is hit in the head again a week or two afterward, the damage can be additive, permanent, and even life-threatening. If a fighter is knocked out in a fight, he isn’t allowed to take punishment to the head for at least forty-five days. You can’t have a different safety standard for a fighter who suffers head trauma in the gym. And you certainly can’t have a bunch of lay people in the fighter’s camp saying, ‘It’s okay; he can still fight.’ That’s a recipe for disaster.”

For those who think that Dr. Goodman is overly cautious and overly protective of fighters, the thoughts of Freddie Roach are equally instructive. Asked what he’d do if one of his fighters suffered a debilitating blow to the head while preparing for a megafight, Roach answered, “The trainer’s job is to protect his fighter. You report something like that to the proper authorities. If you don’t, that’s how fighters get killed.”

All of this leads to one last issue: If Dawson wasn’t thrown off his game by head trauma suffered in sparring, why was he so outclassed by Ward? Is Andre that good?

John Scully thinks he knows the answer.

“After the fight, Chad was a gracious loser,” Scully says. “He told everyone that Ward is a great champion and the better man won. I respect Chad for that, but I want to tell you something. And this isn’t an excuse, because when someone tells the truth, it isn’t an excuse.”

“Chad is a light-heavyweight,” Scully continues. “Chad has fought for years at 175 pounds. And to get this fight, he had to go down to 168. Chad had trouble making weight, a lot of trouble. The weight didn’t come off like he thought it would. Making weight weakened him badly. He had to lose something like nine pounds the last two days. That’s why he looked the way he did in the fight. It wasn’t about being hurt in the gym because that didn’t happen. When a fighter goes down to a weight division lower than the one he’s been fighting in for years, he’s not the same fighter. Look at Chris Byrd against Shaun George. Byrd went from heavyweight to 175 pounds for that fight, and Shaun knocked him all over the place before he knocked Byrd out. Byrd beat Vitali Klitschko, David Tua, and Evander Holyfield. None of those guys even knocked him down. And no disrespect to Shaun George; are you telling me that he hits harder than those guys hit? Andre Ward is good. But it was the weight, man. It was the weight.”

As for Dawson, he won’t talk about the weight other than to say, “I don’t expect to fight at 168 pounds again. I’ll be back at 175 and I expect to be successful.”
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#2
Old 10-08-2012, 09:51 PM
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Ward vs Dawson II at 175
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#3
Old 10-08-2012, 10:05 PM
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Plenty of people I believe will come in here crying "excuses". Idk whether Dawson was hurt or not during the sparring but when you go down in weight that you're not used to, you're body is gonna be weak and fragile. It wouldn't surprise me if someone came out and said "Cesar Rene Cuenca KDed Dawson in sparring today in preparation for his fight against Ward."

EDIT: Very good article as well.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:58 PM
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I believe the weight played a significant factor....and I'm a big Andre Ward fan.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:59 PM
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I had a bad feeling long before they stepped in the ring with each other. Yes it is Dawson's own fault. There was just so many signs it was going to be a drubbing.

I already considered Chad an unfocused fighter. He simply has been slipping from the point he was a few years ago. He has lost his crispness and sharpness. He became more reactive instead of instinctive. He lost his edge. Simply watch his older fights, and then watch his fights from the past 2-3 years. You will see what I am talking about.

When you have that, mixed with draining his body to the point of weakening him even more, you are not going to get left with much. Tack on a possible concussion and well, he was practically begging to get knocked out....or worse!

Ward is a great fighter and I believe he would have beaten Chad even at 175, but I do not believe he would have stopped him. He would have out timed him and beat him to the punch and cruised to a decision. Instead what we saw was a very unhealthy fighter seriously putting his life on the line. He and his team must be asking themselves now, was it all worth it?
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:02 PM
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I've been following Dawson since 2006, I was a big fan when he beat Eric Harding, I thought he was the best prospect I've ever seen. Eight months later he would beat Adamek for the wbc lhw title.

The reason why Chad was outlcassed was a combination of factors. One is Ward being a superb boxer, two was the weight-loss, and three Chad's skills are declining because of constantly switching trainers.

There was a lot of odd things going into the fight Ward/Dawson fight. Why did Chad accept all of Ward's demands including a low-pay, and why take a huge risk in the first place? If Chad was truly confident he can beat Ward, he would fought Ward at 175, it didn't make sense to fight him at 168.

And Scully is wrong, if a boxer is not 100% physically for a fight you cancel the fight or you let the media know about it. I know Freddie gets criticized a lot, but at least he's not a yes man. Pacquiao is a mega star but Freddie is always advising Pacquiao what to do in preparation for his next fight.

Last edited by Boxingwizard; 10-09-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:04 PM
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It's Dawson's fault for offering to fight at 168. And it's Scully's fault for letting him go through with it if he knew it was going to be a problem.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subhuman View Post
Ward vs Dawson II at 175
Weight wouldn't matter, Dawson is a quitter
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanrw View Post
I had a bad feeling long before they stepped in the ring with each other. Yes it is Dawson's own fault. There was just so many signs it was going to be a drubbing.

I already considered Chad an unfocused fighter. He simply has been slipping from the point he was a few years ago. He has lost his crispness and sharpness. He became more reactive instead of instinctive. He lost his edge. Simply watch his older fights, and then watch his fights from the past 2-3 years. You will see what I am talking about.

When you have that, mixed with draining his body to the point of weakening him even more, you are not going to get left with much. Tack on a possible concussion and well, he was practically begging to get knocked out....or worse!

Ward is a great fighter and I believe he would have beaten Chad even at 175, but I do not believe he would have stopped him. He would have out timed him and beat him to the punch and cruised to a decision. Instead what we saw was a very unhealthy fighter seriously putting his life on the line. He and his team must be asking themselves now, was it all worth it?
Well Chad switched trainers eight times in his career and you wonder why his skills are declining. Andre Ward as great as he is, has only had one trainer and that's Virigil Hunter. Bernard Hopkins has had the same team practically throughout his whole career. Any boxer that goes through multiple coaches won't look the same.

Chad peaked in 2007 when he was with Floyd Sr and then fired him just two weeks before his next fight. I think that's the reason why Floyd Sr is still pissed at Dawson. His next fight against Glen Johnson, he didn't look the same.

The other problem is Scully. Scully is not a bad trainer, but Chad hired him at the wrong time. Scully does not have a lot of experience training boxers in championship fights, and the last time he trained Dawson was in 2005. Do you want a trainer like that preparing you against Hopkins or Ward? Of course not, but Chad made the DUMB decision to fire Steward. Had Chad stuck with Steward he would have looked much better against Hopkins. I think the only two trainers that can make Dawson a complete boxer is Floyd Sr and Steward. Maybe Scully if he learns from his mistakes.

And you saw in the Hopkins fight that Chad looked different. He wasn't using his height and reach to create distance and he was head hunting. When was the last time you saw Dawson head hunting? He was bending his waist not fighting tall, which made him vulnerable to knock downs. He was almost knocked down twice from Hopkins for doing that ****.

Last edited by Boxingwizard; 10-09-2012 at 04:54 AM.
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#10
Old 10-08-2012, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Check_hooks View Post
Weight wouldn't matter, Dawson is a quitter
I still think Ward beats him but I just need to witness it. Dawson got dropped in sparring and was drained, and was quite possibly not all there mentally.
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