Less than four months removed from his return to professional boxing, former two-time world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson steps back into the ring for yet another shot at championship glory.

Dawson (35-9, 19 KOs) returns to his home state Friday, October 11, 2019 to headline the first event of CES Boxing’s UFC FIGHT PASS® winter tripleheader at the Connecticut Convention Center. The New Haven, CT, resident faces hard-hitting Russian challenger Denis Grachev (19-8-1, 10 KOs) for the vacant WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight Title in the eight-round main event. 

Starring in the co-feature, unbeaten New London, CT, heavyweight Cassius Chaney (16-0, 10 KOs) battles former world champion and Colombian veteran Santander Silgado (28-7, 22 KOs) in an eight-round bout co-promoted by CES Boxing and Main Events.

The October 11 event is the first of three by CES Boxing to close out 2019. The promotion returns to UFC FIGHT PASS® November 23 and concludes its tripleheader with a special December 7 matinee.

Dawson’s returns adds another layer of suspense to a stacked fight card featuring the region’s top talent. The former WBC and IBF world title-holder ended a two and a half-year layoff in June with a unanimous decision win over Quinton Rankin and now faces the always-exciting Grachev, a Chaykovsky, Russia native who now lives and trains in San Diego and has won three of his last four bouts. While Dawson carries a firm legacy into the October 11 battle, Grachev is well-known in New England, having fought for CES Boxing in 2011 and scoring a knocking win over then unbeaten Rhode Island prospect Vladine Biosse.

Dawson's resume in the light heavyweight division is unmatched, and his history with CES Boxing dates back to the beginning of his career, including his second pro fight when he shared the stage with Rhode Island icon Vinny Paz, who recorded his 48th victory that night. Two years later, the hard-hitting Dawson reached a major milestone of his own, capturing the WBC World Youth Middleweight Title with a win over Dumont Welliver. 

Dawson's rise to prominence continued with NABO and NABF titles in 2005 and 2006, respectively, before he defeated Tomasz Adamek for the WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Dawson defended the belt three times over the next year and a half, including a win over two-time world champion Glen Johnson. Six months later, he dominated three-time champ Antonio Tarver in the first of their two championship bouts, winning and subsequently defending the IBO and IFO world titles. In 2009, he returned to Connecticut and beat Johnson a second time to capture the interim WBC title and then won the WBC light heavyweight crown a second time in 2012 with a majority-decision victory over Bernard Hopkins in Atlantic City.

Like Dawson, Chaney faces a tall order in the co-main event. The 32-year-old heavyweight returns for the first time since July following a highlight-reel knockout win over Joel Caudle on ESPN+. Silgado once again steps to the table against elite competition, having faced opponents with a combined record of 77-4 in his last three bouts.

Also returning to the ring, New Haven super welterweight Jimmy Williams (16-3-1, 5 KOs) faces Tilton, NH, veteran Jose Medina (18-17-1, 7 KOs) in an intriguing six-round all-New England showdown while up-and-comer Sharad Collier (2-0-1, 2 KOs) of Hartford battles Ohio’s Glenn Mitchell (3-3, 3 KOs) in a six-round lightweight bout.

The undercard also features two undefeated Connecticut prospects making their firster appearance in Hartford in separate four-round bouts. Super bantamweight Nathan Martinez (5-0, 2 KOs) of New Britain faces Steve Garagarza (1-1-1, 1 KO) of Laredo, TX, and featherweight Jacob Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs) puts his perfect record on the line against Huntington, WV, vet Marcus Coney (2-2-1, 1 KO).

Super welterweight Jalen Renaud (1-0) of Springfield, MA, makes his promotional debut in a four-round intrastate showdown against Roxbury’s Maceo Crowder (2-2, 1 KO); former New York Golden Gloves champion Jahvel Joseph (0-0) of the Bronx makes his professional debut in a four-round bout against Leandro Silva (1-2) of Boca Raton, FL, and New Haven super lightweight Carlos Perez Ojeda (0-0) also debuts in a four-round bout against an opponent to be determined.