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Dawson Lived A Fighters' Worst Nightmare Against Ward

BY Frank Lotierzo ON September 12, 2012
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WardDawson TJHogan7During the course of the last six years, WBA/WBC light heavyweight title holder Chad Dawson 31-2 (17) has defeated Eric Harding, Tomasz Adamek (who went 10 rounds with WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko four years later) Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver twice each along with all-time great and legend Bernard Hopkins in his last fight before fighting the baddest super-middleweight on the planet, Andre Ward, this past Saturday night.

From the start of the third round on Ward systematically took apart Dawson. Ward had Dawson down in the third, fourth and 10th rounds of the fight. When Dawson beat the count and got to his feet after being knocked to one knee in the tenth round, he not only signaled with his demeanor to referee Steve Smoger that he was finished, he actually said it. And although the audio is pretty difficult to decipher, it is clear enough to discern that Dawson said "I"m finished, I'm done" and "it's over."

With that, referee Smoger immediately stopped the fight and spared Dawson from being further damaged both physically and psychologically. Now, unfortunately, Dawson is being excoriated as a gutless coward by some wannabe tough guy writers and fans, which is another layer of proof that guys who are quick to call a professional fighter the caliber of Chad Dawson a coward and quitter have never had their ass on the line and if the gloves were thrown to them, they'd throw'em back. Believe me when I say it, I've seen that scenario played out many times during my travels.

Another thing that's mind boggling is, those who are now praising Ward as the best and most complete fighter in boxing just so happen to say in the next breath that Dawson is a bum and a quitter, something that wasn't uttered once in any column or discussion I heard in the run up to the fight. And if that's the case, why is Ward receiving so much praise for beating a bum? It's amazing how after a big fight the winner is lauded for being so spectacular, yet the loser becomes an onion because he lost to a supposed great fighter, the winner.

Instead of the winner is great and the loser sucks mentality, why don't fans see the reality of the situation? That being, in this case Chad Dawson is really some fighter, but Andre Ward must be outta this world good in order to be able to dominate and control Dawson for eight of the 10 rounds they spent in the ring fighting. Just look at the fighters Dawson beat on the way to fighting Ward.

The last thing Dawson ever thought about or envisioned was a scenario in which Ward could handle and control him so convincingly, that before the end of the 10th round his confidence cup would be completely empty and he'd be willing to tell the referee in front of millions of people that he'd had enough and was to the point to where he accepted that there was nothing he could do to seize the fight and beat Ward.

Do you know how much it takes to push a fighter like Dawson to say he's done while he's still on his feet and capable of at least attempting to continue? Remember, this is the same fighter who accused Bernard Hopkins of looking for a way out and bailing on him after he threw Hopkins to the canvas during the second round of their first fight when Hopkins injured his shoulder.

It's the most disheartening thing in the world for a fighter in his prime like Chad Dawson to get into the ring with someone who he thinks he can beat (or, at worst, he thinks is more or less his equal), and then find out that he's getting beaten up round after round. In a way, it's worse than getting knocked out early, since that can happen to almost anyone. But if you try everything you know how to do, and the other guy is simply better at everything, and then he starts to systematically hurt you, it just takes away every shred of belief you have in yourself.It must be like a nightmare. You can't make excuses. The only conclusion you can come to is "this guy is a lot better than me." Who wants to have to confront that?

Think about all that Ward did to Dawson during the last eight rounds of the fight. He showed Dawson that he could hurt him, and that Chad really couldn't hurt him. He also convinced Dawson that he not only had an answer for any and everything he tried, but he also had ways and means (head and body feints, and punch variation) that Dawson couldn't anticipate or stop. And lastly, as the fight was progressing Dawson was starting to get hurt and feel some pain for either waiting on or guessing wrong against Ward.

After the third knockdown of the fight in the 10th round, Dawson was to the point psychologically that he not only accepted that he couldn't beat Ward, but also knew that if he continued trying he'd probably end up back on the canvas. The point is, Ward showed Dawson enough down the stretch of the fight that really spooked him and he didn't want to risk being further embarrassed or knocked out, a position that no other fighter had ever pushed him to before.

This is not giving Dawson a pass, because at the end of the day Ward made him say "No Mas." It's also apparent that Dawson doesn't posses a constitution quite as deep as Matthew Saad Muhammad's or Alexis Arguello's, but no other fighter came close to shaking him physically and psychologically the way Andre Ward did this past Saturday night.

Think about what it says about one elite fighter who beats another elite fighter into submission before he stops him. Dawson was hurt and embarrassed enough by Ward that he knew there was no way he could pull the fight out. So in essence he said to Ward, I know I can't beat you and you don't have to knock me out to prove it so I'm done.

I don't like the way Dawson went out. I know he couldn't have won, and I know that he was getting banged up in there, but I think of what Nacho Beristain told Juan Manual Marquez (who was also getting beaten up) before the last round of his fight with Floyd Mayweather: "Finish with dignity." I hope those reading this understand that no real fighter is a bum. Dawson is a hell of a fighter. But I would have preferred to see him try to make it to the bell. That said, Andre Ward is a beast and a very frustrating guy to fight.

So instead of calling Dawson a bum or gutless coward, marvel at how good Ward was during the fight and that he was able to do something no fighter ever did to Chad before.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

Totally agree......Dawson seemed to become more and more despondent and sullen as the one sided whipping worn on.....It was like Dawson became defiant in a perverse way. As if he way saying .." I refuse to go all out"...because that would only acknowledged how thoroughly dominated he was in the fight...and he refused to give Ward the satisfaction. Dawson reminded me of an overworked factory employee who tries to slow down when the supervisor barks an order at him in a disrespectful tone ..."pick up the pace you slob"....the employee tries to express his resentment by slowing down, but does it in a very imperceptable manner.... because he's afraid he'll lose his job. Dawson chose the only other alternative which was to walk off the job when the opportunity became available, ...exercising the only control...The only choice he had left in the bout.... but his position has become severely compromised. He retains his title but his peers will treat him like a temporary employee. Bad Chad had to toss in his own towell and his future opponents will never let him forget it. Like the author said .....the right words from his corner might have inspired him to rise beyond his personal pain....if that failed his corner could have stopped the fight proper. Either way Dawson didn't need to suffer any further punishment fighting a hopeless battle. Whether he can redeem his value as a fighter is yet to be seen.

Radam G says:

I agree with Pugilistic SuperMasterWeaving Scribe F-Lo with about 75 percent of this piece of his. SuperBadChad is far from "a bum or gutless coward." But he's pu$$y whipped something terribly. He lost the bout way before entering that squared jungle.

He needs to separate his business in whuppin arse from his sexual gettin' down with his wifey while he is in training. Juices coming from a cat's body any time within at least a month or two before the BIG FIGHT, "Ain't no good," in the words of the oldtimers/old-school trainers. And that jive "weaken LEGS!"

Boksing cats, who always want to hit dat Y action or work dat hand job will always come up with some junk science to rationalize doing dat nasty or dat work of putting Ms. thumb and her fingers too pop da weasle too close to fight time. Hehehe!

SBC plainly and simply did an "unforgivable" punking OUT! He shoulda went out on his shield. Fighter FIGHT! Not QUIT! But SBC was deceived by reality. His brain was shrunked from water fasting [drying out] then bumrushed with too much water within 24hours, and that dang starvation dieting did a job on his brainwaves. That nutritionist of his should be arrested for attempted murder.

Like I said before, SBC was more fudged up than a delusional snake-bitten nomad in the desert on dat dang fantasy diet of the SBC's nutritionist. And SOG's punches were food that SBC couldn't handle -- the salt or sugar in dat ___ ___ ___! Hahaha! One just cannot be eating anything. Hehehe! Holla!

Real Talk says:

Great write up F-Lizzo, I especially like the third paragraph and it's quite true. Nobody who puts in the the blood, sweat and tears into the Sweet Science would be so dismissive of the hard work and dedication it takes to make weight and come into the ring in great boxing shape. My glutes, thighs and back burn right now from dipping under the rope in the ring. My ab muscles locked up on me while doing crunches with the weight ball. So I tend to give fighters the benefit of the doubt and not knee jerk spout off insults and insinuations. I agree with you and Radam that Chad should've went out like a soldier or finished with dignity. I don't understand quitting, I'm too stubborn I guess. Someone would have to stop it or I'll just take my medicine if it came to that, no lie. When I had my first child I started thinking about how I'd be remembered. When they put me in the earth what would they say about me? Your father was______. You understand what I'm saying? I just told my lady what Radam said and she tells me " Oh yeah that's a no no" because her track coach told her that. I says bay....they told the women that? She said no they told the guys but we were right there an it was no cut cards. She said one guy got some and the track coach yelled at him "NO CHEEKS, NO CHEEKS" with his St. Thomas accent LOL!!! Chad remember that next time"NO CHEEKS" LOL!!! Cheeks make you weak!!! This girl is stupid LOL!!!!! I think Ward would win at 175 and whether Chad snook some or not doesn't matter. Ward is the better and more complete fighter and had the anecdote for Chad. P4P prince!!! Won't be long now! Dueces

spit bucket says:

I'm glad he said "no mas". It's terrible watching a fighter take heavy shots way after the fight has been decided. When you're thinking, "how much long term damage is this beating going to cause?", there's no point in continuing. And I don't feel any less respectful of Dawson for ending it when he did.
RE: Marquez/May... Marquez wasn't getting dropped repeatedly and May wasn't going for the kill so that was a different scenario.

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