By Lem Satterfield
Speaking to BoxingScene.com, promoter Gary Shaw explained the reasons behind the delay in Chad Dawson (29-1, 17KOs) agreeing to accept the fight with Adrian Diaconu (27-2, 15KOs), which is scheduled for May 21 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. There were some concerns with respect to taking a fight against a Canadian boxer, in Canada. Dawson and his promoter, Gary Shaw, believe they got the short end of the stick in the eleven round technical decision loss to Jean Pascal last August. The Pascal bout was staged in the same venue.
Dawson and Shaw believe Pascal was on the verge of being knocked out when the referee stopped the fight. The fight went to the scorecards after Dawson suffered a deep cut that streamed blood from over his right eye from a clash of heads in the 11th round -- this after Dawson had hurt Pascal badly following a searing series of about 50 unanswered punches that were exclusive of a subsequent left uppercut that stopped Pascal in his tracks.
Referee Michael Griffin then escorted Dawson to a ringside doctor, who determined that the fight be stopped. In accordance with rules, the decision went to the scorecards, where judges Gerald Ritter and John Kean had it for Pascal, 106-103, and, Jack Woodburn scored it, 108-101, all for Pascal.
Dawson's team is also concerned with the scoring, after watching Pascal's December fight with Hopkins end in a twelve round controversial draw. With Dawson now being trained by Emanuel Steward, the team is more confident about taking on Diaconu on his home soil.
"[We were discussing] if we wanted to actually go over there and fight on Canadian soil to fight another Canadian. We just spoke about it and talked it over. We feel that with Manny Steward being the trainer now, that we're convinced that Chad will be a different fighter. Chad will be a different Chad Dawson," said Shaw.
"But we also feel that it is always a risk when you go to Canada. That's like going to Germany now, so it's always a risk. It's like I told the Canadian press. They walked in in the 11th round and they stopped the fight. I know why they did it. They did it to protect Jean Pascal, which is bulls*t. So I don't want the edge, but I sure want an even playing field."
Dawson-Diaconu is the HBO televised co-feature to Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins II.