Photo by Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
Andre Ward (left) stopped Chad Dawson in the 10th round in September 2012 in Oakland
Chad Dawson just 4 1/2 years ago was looked upon as one of the top light heavyweights in the world. After a November 2009 victory over Glen Johnson, he was 29-0 – 6-0 in world-title fights, 7-0 in you count interim title fights. On his list of wins were two over Antonio Tarver, two over Johnson and one over Tomasz Adamek.
Then Dawson lost to Jean Pascal via 11-round technical decision. Dawson came back with a 12-round decision over Adrian Diaconu, fought to a two-round no-contest against Bernard Hopkins, then beat Hopkins via 12-round majority decision in April 2012, and he still had his respect. But successive knockout losses to Andre Ward and Adonis Stevonson have Dawson on the comeback trail. Dawson was stopped in the 10th round by Ward in September 2012 and was knocked out by Stevenson in the first round in June 2013.
Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs) will be featured on Saturday’s Golden Boy Promotions card at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime Extreme). He’ll square off with George “Honey Boy” Blades (24-5, 16 KOs) of Orlando, Fla.
Dawson, of New Haven, Conn., won’t be 32 until July 13. He said he knew he would continue his career after the two devastating setbacks.
“I had the privilege of becoming a world champion early,” he said. “I’ve been a professional for almost 13 years. There was never a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t come back. I needed to take time to be a family man and come back when I felt like I could come back.
“I’m looking to get back to being the old Chad Dawson, the smart boxer who has height and reach. Once I get back to that, (it’s) back to the top. I’m happy to be back in the game.”
Dawson will be facing a 12-month layoff when he steps into the ring.