Chad Dawson, with a career-defining fight against Antonio Tarver beckoning him seductively, managed to keep his eyes and mind at the task at hand, Jesus Ruiz, and moved a step closer to the task of bettering Tarver. The Connecticut boxer, in his first defense of the WBC 175 pound crown, stopped Ruiz with a sustained flurry of power shots in the sixth round on Saturday evening at Hartford's Connecticut Convention Center in a bout that ran on Showtime.
Dawson, age 24, weighed 174, while the 33-year-old Ruiz scaled in at 174 3/4.
Dawson (24-0-1, 16 KOs) is a lefty, and he represented the first southpaw foe for Ruiz in the Californian's professional span.
In the first, Dawson got his attention with his peppy jab. Ruiz, who had fought once in three years, had some rust removal to attend to early on.
In the second round, Dawson, who is overseen by Floyd Mayweather Sr., tried to help slough off some of that rust, with one-twos, and supplemental right hooks to the side.
The third round was a more evenly matched period, as Ruiz (19-5, 17 KOs) signaled that he wasn't going to go without a strong stand.
The fourth was a decisive round for Dawson, as he didn't have much trouble working around Ruiz' defense. The loser lacks head movement, and relies on his gloves as a facial shield. A five punch combination platter, with a right hook to the body, displeased Ruiz. He grimaced after that rude serving. A right hook connected soon after, and Dawson was clicking into his top mode.
The fifth brought more of the same for Ruiz, with Dawson in full command, his combos flowing almost effortlessly. The rusty returner had difficulty pulling his trigger, knowing that Dawson would counter in an eyeblink.
In the last portion of the sixth, Dawson floored it; he had Ruiz on the ropes, and tossed 23 punches while Ruiz returned with a lone answer. Everything you can throw, Dawson did throw, with the particularly vicious coup de grace being a left uppercut that snapped Ruiz' head back violently. The ref had seen enough, and he interceded then. The official time was 2:00 of the sixth, via a TKO.
SPEEDBAG Showtime ran a tribute to Chico Corrales. A photo and video montage showed the million dollar smile, and heart, that gave fight fans so much pleasure. They closed it with a frozen image of Corrales, his left eye blown up, exulting on May 7, 2005, after he unleashed the all-time comeback volley on Jose Luis Castillo. Classy gesture…well done, Showtime.