The “Bad” in “Bad” Chad Dawson is pretty good.
He’s got one of those catchy names that roll off the tongue, like James “Lights Out” Toney, or Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy.
Dawson is bad only in the way a demoralizing uppercut can be bad or a bruising linebacker is bad.
So far, most fight fans don’t know a lot about Dawson. Fighting out of New Haven, Conn., the southpaw has been kind of a well-kept secret, though no one intended it that way.
But even if you’ve got a catchy moniker, it’s tough to make a name for yourself in the fight game until you beat someone we know or until you win a world title on TV on a Saturday night. That’s when people outside your neighborhood start to remember your name. That’s when they start asking for your autograph and pointing you out on a crowded street.
That’s the opportunity Dawson (23-0, 15 KOs) will have this Saturday night when he fights undefeated WBC light-heavyweight champion Thomasz Adamek of Poland (31-0, 20 KOs) at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla., on Showtime.
Adamek comes into the fight following a couple close, majority decision wins over a tough Paul Briggs. Those might be the two biggest wins on Adamek’s resume.
Dawson’s biggest win was a decision over Eric Harding in June 2006 on Showtime’s Shobox. It was a good test for Dawson, who won big despite being knocked down in the first round and suffering a bad cut over his right eye.
Now he thinks he’s ready for his title shot.
“This is what I’ve been working for my whole career,” he said on a recent conference call. “I have been patient and my opportunity is here.”
Dawsonsaid he didn’t really study what Briggs did or didn’t do in his 24 rounds with Adamek.
“Briggs and I are totally different fighters,” he said. “I am more of a boxer. I do not go in to burrow. I believe in my boxing ability. May the best man win on Saturday.”
One change Dawson did make for this fight was to switch trainers, going from Dan Birmingham (Winky Wright’s trainer) to Floyd Mayweather Sr.
“The split between Dan and I was nothing personal,” Dawson said. “It’s just that I thought I would be better with a trainer like Floyd where I could work more on putting my punches together. I am throwing harder punches, going to the body more. Dan is a great trainer, and so is Floyd. But I think I fit in better with Floyd.”
As for Adamek, he kept things fairly brief, saying he has fought twice in America and “all America” saw him.
“I am good and I am going to be good,” he said. “I am going to show everybody again.”
Asked what he expected from Dawson, Adamek said he believes in his punching power, and believing makes miracles happen.
“I do not worry about anybody,” he said. “I can fight anybody. I am ready for everybody and I want to fight everybody.”
Should be a “baaaad” night.