NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Greater New Haven Athletic Center) – “Bad” Chad Dawson, 19-0, 1 NC, (14 KOs), New Haven, 166¼, scored an 11th round knockout over the usually difficult Ian “The Cobra” Gardner, 19-3 (7 KOs), Brockton, Mass. 163, to win the vacant NABO super middleweight title, in a scheduled 12 Friday night.
Each round from opening bell through round seven was a virtual repeat as the focused Dawson beat Gardner to the punch consistently. His stalking style never allowed the wild-swinging Gardner to put together a single string of effective punches.
In round eight, Dawson continued the hunt and caught the ever-retreating Gardner knocking him down for a brief count.
He again picked up the chase in rounds nine and ten scoring calmly with right jabs and straight left hands.
In round eleven it was clear that the dispirited Gardner had had enough. A Dawson combination put Gardner on the canvas for a second time in the fight. He quickly followed with two more knockdowns ending the fight at 1:12 of the round.
Gardner was clearly frustrated by his inability to mount an attack, necessitating pep talks throughout the bout between rounds by famed cornerman Goody Petronelli.
In the end it was the precise, composed and much stronger Dawson setting the pace, delivering the harder, more numerous shots, and never allowing the odd-ball tactics of Gardner to throw him off course.
Through round ten, The Sweet Science scored the fight 100-89 for Dawson.
The southpaw Dawson, now under the tutelage of Dan Birmingham, has quickly developed a reputation as a skilled competitor. Given his youth and extraordinary height, 6’3”, it is also likely the super middleweight division will keep him for long.
He has already grown himself out of the middleweight class where, until recently, he held something called the WBC Youth title. No one is quite sure what that means.
By far his most important win coming into this bout was against former WBA junior middleweight titlist, and fellow southpaw, Carl Daniels.
The bout was for Dawson’s “Youth” title despite the fact that Daniels was 34 years old at the time. Nevertheless, Daniels entered the ring with a 49-4-1 record and a wealth of experience, including a middleweight championship shot at the great Bernard Hopkins.
The Canadian citizen Gardner, also a southpaw, came into the ring four months removed from a televised solid shutout decision win over Mohammed Said in Boston. His awkward style is clearly difficult for anyone trying to put together multiple punches.
In his biggest bout, a decision loss to highly ranked middleweight Arthur Abraham, Gardner, 24, was dropped three times. In that fight he proved a far more difficult target and may have been ahead until a rapid decline in the later rounds.
In the subsequent Said match he did not appear to be adversely affected from the losing effort and was able to put together a crafty win over a determined but limited opponent.
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Marteze Logan, 22-19-2 (5 KOs), Covington, Tenn., scored a clear-cut unanimous eight round decision in an upset over Americo Santos, 23-1 (19 KOs), Garland, Texas, 140.
Logan, a 21-year-old with an “opponent” reputation, outboxed and out-punched the strong and willing Santos.
Throughout the contest he beat Santos to the punch with awkwardly thrown left hooks, sometimes tripling up on the punch. His occasional stiff jabs kept Santos from effectively launching his wide punches in combination.
In round five Logan dropped Santos with a right hand as Santos attempted to run in and in. It was the only knockdown of the fight, and while Santos appeared unhurt, it also secured the Logan victory. Logan effectively kept distance with occasional punching even while he obviously tired down the stretch.
Santos shortcoming was his straight-ahead approach while winging very wide punches. Logan was able to land almost at will throughout.
Scoring was 78-73, 77-74, and 79-74 all for Logan. The Sweet Science scored the fight 77-74.
The bouts were promoted by Gary Shaw and televised on the ShoBox series on Showtime cable network.