By Keith Idec
Chad Dawson’s promoter doesn’t believe Dawson’s devastating defeat against Andre Ward ruined the former light heavyweight champion prior to Adonis Stevenson destroying Dawson in the first round.
“I don’t think so,” promoter Gary Shaw said while promoting Stevenson’s Sept. 28 fight against Tavoris Cloud in Montreal. “Dawson let his hands down. Instead of keeping Adonis at a distance, he let him come in and Adonis leaped and threw that one shot. … When you let your hands down and you let the smaller man come close, and he’s a power puncher, it’s a huge problem.”
Stevenson’s stunning one-punch, one-minute and 16-second demolition left Dawson’s career completely in shambles. In his previous fight, Ward dropped Dawson three times before Dawson declined to continue in the 10th round a year ago in Oakland, Calif.
The Haitian-born, Canadian-bred Stevenson seconded Shaw’s assessment regarding whether Ward permanently damaged Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs, 2 NC), who willingly moved down a weight class, from light heavyweight to super middleweight, to challenge the undefeated Ward (26-0, 14 KOs).
“I don’t think so,” Stevenson said. “Chad was 175, in his weight class and strong. I don’t think so. That was a very good and clean punch. He had his hands down. That’s why. But it’s not about Chad, because he was 168 [in his previous fight].
“He was ready for this fight. He was training for this fight. And, you know, when you’re in with a power puncher you have to be ready at any time. Look what happened. You never know in the boxing game when the punch his coming. You have to look. You keep your distance and watch everything.”
Yvon Michel, whose Quebec-based company promotes Stevenson (21-1, 18 KOs), added that Dawson simply underestimated Stevenson’s power when they squared off June 8 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
“Chad Dawson never believed the hype behind Adonis Stevenson,” Michel said. “When he walked in [to Bell Centre], he was relaxed, smiling, comfortable, happy to be there. And when the first bell started, he went to Adonis and Adonis told me after the fight, said, ‘Wow! He’s coming to me. It’s going to be easier.’ So he never believed how strong of a puncher Adonis was until he got hit.”
Against Stevenson, Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., will try to bounce back from a one-sided, unanimous-decision defeat to 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC) on March 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. HBO will televise the Stevenson-Cloud contest as part of a “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader from three separate sites.
The telecast also will include a 12-round super middleweight match that’ll send Mexico’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) against Bryan Vera (23-6, 14 KOs), of Austin, Texas, from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., as well as delayed footage of an all-British heavyweight showdown between former WBA champion David Haye (26-2, 24 KOs) and trash-talking Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KOs) from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
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.