Advertisement
Advertisement

Ward-Dawson Hangover: The Prediction Walk of Shame

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

Next time, dammit… I’m listening to my wife.

Because she’s been around me nearly every day for nearly seven years and has endured work trips that have sent me from the Cayman Islands to the Nevada desert and many places in between, the lovely lady Danielle has gleaned a bit of knowledge about the fight game.

She knows the guys I like. She knows the guys I don’t like.

And she knows how much it irritates me when I miss a pick I should have nailed.

Especially, that is… when she’s smart enough to have seen it coming.

Case in point: Saturday night in Oakland.

Anyone who’s read me is aware of my affection for Andre Ward. I did a piece on him early in his career several years ago, hopped the aforementioned flight to the Caymans to see him dismantle Jerson Ravelo and was so taken that I’d not picked against him since – correctly forecasting the breakout upset of Mikkel Kessler, the intermediate wins in the Super Six and the crowning defeat of Carl Froch.

A win that, incidentally, looks a helluva lot better now thanks to Lucian Bute.

Anyway, the man-crush I’d developed on the former U.S. Olympian was so complete that I’d chosen him as the guinea pig in 2011, when my inaugural year-opening crystal ball column revealed that he’d be the consensus choice as the sport’s fighter of the year when December rolled around.

And when it did, I’ll be damned if it wasn’t spot on.

Problem is, when the chance arrived to follow through on all the ground-floor prognostication I’d laid… my good sense took a powder.

In spite of lessons recently taught by Roy Jones Jr. and Chris Byrd, who’d clearly been diminished when traipsing down from one weight to another, I was in the minority believing that another of my faves – Chad Dawson – would retain the role of bully when dumping seven pounds to face 168’s king.

I picked him in spite of a long history with his foe. I picked him in spite of the dubious logic of a precipitous scale plunge. And I picked him in spite of the last thing my wife said to me before I typed out my column last week: “You’re gonna be smart and say Ward by TKO, right?”

Turns out that come Sunday morning, I wasn’t the only one feeling regret.

“I will never again in my life work with a fighter moving down in weight,” said Dawson’s trainer, John Scully. “His next fight will be at 175 pounds, guaranteed. He’s disappointed, yes, but it wasn’t him in there. Andre Ward did a great job in there, don’t get me wrong.

“Andre Ward is a tremendous fighter, and based on his recent resume you can make a strong case for him being number one pound for pound. But that obviously was a weight-drained Chad.”

I wish I could make an excuse as simple as his, but it turns out my error was just dumb.

Next time… maybe I’ll let the wife write the friggin’ column.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

SATURDAY
IBF bantamweight title – Las Vegas, Nev.
Leo Santa Cruz (champion) vs. Eric Morel (No. 14 contender)
    
Santa Cruz (20-0-1, 11 KO): First title defense; One decision win since 2009 (10-0, 9 KO)
Morel (46-3, 23 KO): Tenth title fight (6-3); Held WBA title at 112 (2000-03, five defenses)
Fitzbitz says: “Ex-flyweight king has lost three straight title fights, is nearly a decade older and naturally smaller than his unbeaten foe – which makes this a bruising going-away gift.” Santa Cruz by decision

IBF cruiserweight title - Bamberg, Germany
Yoan Pablo Hernandez (champion) vs. Troy Ross (No. 3 contender)
          
Hernandez (26-1, 13 KO): Second title defense; Unbeaten since 2008 (12-0, 5 KO)
Ross (25-2, 16 KO): Second title fight (0-1); Third fight in Germany (1-1)
Fitzbitz says: “Old man from Canada is the definition of a live underdog, but Hernandez may be a guy who gets better the longer he holds onto the belt.” Hernandez by decision

WBC super welterweight title – Las Vegas, Nev.
Saul Alvarez (champion) vs. Josesito Lopez (No. 4 contender)
   
Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO): Fifth title defense; Third fight in Las Vegas (2-0, 1 KO)
Lopez (30-4, 18 KO): First title fight; First fight above welterweight limit
Fitzbitz says: “The parade of 147-pound pastry continues for Alvarez, who’ll could make Lopez wish it was he – and not Victor Ortiz – who’d wound up with the broken jaw.” Alvarez in 6

WBC featherweight title – Las Vegas, Nev.
Jhonny Gonzalez (champion) vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon (No. 6 contender)
          
Gonzalez (52-7, 45 KO): Fifth title defense; Held IBO title at 126 and WBO title at 118
Ponce De Leon (43-4, 35 KO): Ninth title fight (7-1); Held WBO title at 122 (2005-08, six defenses)
Fitzbitz says: “An intriguing battle of reinvented 30-somethings who’ve returned from thudding losses. Seems like incumbent is a better fit at 126 with a better class of wins there.” Gonzalez by decision

WBC middleweight title – Las Vegas, Nev.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (champion) vs. Sergio Martinez (unranked)

Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO): Fourth title defense; Ninth fight in Las Vegas (7-0, 3 KO, 1 NC)
Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO): Sixth title fight (5-0); Held IBO title at 154 and WBC/WBO titles at 160
Fitzbitz says: “This initially seemed a Martinez rout, but the more thought given, the more ways it appears Chavez can rally to chop down an aging and much smaller foe down the stretch.” Chavez in 11

Vacant WBO junior lightweight title – Las Vegas, Nev.
Miguel Beltran Jr. (No. 6 contender) vs. Roman Martinez (No. 8 contender)
Beltran Jr. (27-1, 17 KO): Second title fight (0-0, 1 NC); First fight outside Mexico
Martinez (25-1-1, 16 KO): Fifth title fight (3-1); Held WBO belt at 130 (2009-10, two defenses)
Fitzbitz says: “Puerto Rican ex-champ has been in with better over a longer stretch of time at 130, which should be more than enough to yield a second title reign.” Martinez by decision

Last week's picks: 2-1
Overall picks record: 331-113 (74.5 percent)

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Motofan on 09-11-2012

[QUOTE=paulf;12499314]Fitzsimmons is picking Chavez to beat Martinez? He better be ready to walk the line again next week. I don't get it. How can you pick Chavez? What does Chavez do that Martinez hasn't already handled? Can he apply pressure…

Comment by Champ Is Here on 09-11-2012

Lol Hopkins was trying to survive in that fight. If not for the holding, tackling, and dirty shots Dawson would have knocked Hop out, CLEANLY There's no way what happened Saturday would happen to Dawson at light heavyweight. NO WAY

Comment by ddangerous on 09-11-2012

No prediction walk of shame for me this weekend. I had Ward dominantly beating Dawson and making it look easy, and I had Lucas getting a late stoppage on a challenging Ajose. I just shoulda actually put some money on…

Comment by whitelightning8 on 09-11-2012

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;12499290]By Lyle Fitzsimmons - Next time, dammit… I’m listening to my wife. Because she’s been around me nearly every day for nearly seven years and has endured work trips that have sent me from the Cayman Islands to the Nevada…

Comment by Ravens Fan on 09-11-2012

After spending the last four years beating up card carrying members of AARP I don't understand why so many fans thought Sad Chad was so great?

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (20)
Top Headlines Canelo's Coach: Golovkin Has Beaten Nobody, Lower Level Foes! Casimero Vows To Get Revenge on Amnat Ruenroeng on May 25 Dirrell Brothers, Jonathan Guzman Win Big In Atlantic City Orlando Salido Reacts To Francisco Vargas' Positive Drug Test Pano Tiatia, Other Dunkin Fighters Set For Action on Victory Card Beibut Shumenov Files Protest Against Dorticos-Kalenga WBA Clash Marquez Pleads With Canelo, De La Hoya To Make Golovkin Fight Povetkin: Wilder's 'Klitschko Tactics' Won't Work, Maybe He's Nervous Photos: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Try To Intimidate Each Other Photos/Weights: Pedro Campa vs. Jose Alfaro, More Hearn Explains Rift With DeGale, Situation With Haymon - Video Video: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Tense Face To Face at Weighin Lolenga Mock Outscores David Becarra Over Ten Rounds Callum Smith Hits Washington To Scout Badou Jack-Lucian Bute Fury Just Wants To Be Left Alone To Enjoy a Chicken Sandwich Francisco Vargas Granted Temporary License, Must Submit To Additional Testing Vasyl Lomachenko: Nicholas Walters Kept Making Excuses Rances Barthelemy-Mickey Bey Tops PBC on Spike, June 3 Photos: Badou Jack, James DeGale, Bute, Medina Ready To Fight Photos: Manny Pacquiao Hits The Campaign Trail in Senate Bid News: Marquis Moore; Orlando Del Valle; Dashon Johnson Video: Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina Make Weight For Battle All Fighters Make Weight For Showtime Double In D.C. Khan: Beating Canelo Would Be Monumental For British Boxing DeGale: I Told Badou Jack 'You're Next, Green Belt is Coming To UK' Bellew vs. Makabu Title Clash Officially Unveiled Weights From London: Fury 231, Kassi 233 Carl Frampton Relinquishes IBF 122-Pound Crown Kovalev's Promoter Details How Chilemba/Russia Deal Came About Andre Dirrell 'Definitely' Would Go To England For DeGale Rematch Porter: Thurman Doesn't Work on The Inside, Smarter Fighter Wins Gaiyanghadaogym, Sithsamerchai Claim Wins In Thailand Frampton: Leo Santa Cruz's Style is Made For Me, 100% I'll Win Jeff Horn Targets WBO Title Showdown With Jessie Vargas Photos: Joshua, Haye, Groves, McGuigan Hit BT Sport Awards Golovkin's Promoter: If Kell Brook is Serious, We Can Discuss It Nacho Says 'Perfect Fight' Will Still See Khan Get Blasted By Canelo Video: Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto Final Press Conference Patrick Nielsen-Denis Douglin Set For May 28 in Denmark De La Hoya: Canelo Has Surpassed What I Accomplished at His Age
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement