New trainer Manny Steward tried to light a fire under "Bad" Chad Dawson, telling the boxer that he was losing his bout with Adrian Diaconu after five rounds. It didn't really work, as Dawson was his typical calm, somewhat dispassionate self in the main undercard tussle on the Bernard Hopkins-Jean Pascal sequel on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
No, all the tape watching of Steward's signature client, Thomas Hearns, didn't transform the technically sound hitter into a fearsome slugger. To expect that wouldn't be fair, as Dawson's power is average, and maybe even less than that since his temperment isn't that of a finisher. The ex light heavyweight champion, aged 28, from Connecticut, rose to 30-1 with a decision win, by scores of 117-111, 118-110, 116-112 over Diaconu (27-3; age 32; from Romania, lives in Montreal). He expects to fight the winner of the Pascal-Hopkins rematch later this year.
The stats bolstered the judges' call. Dawson went 240-620, to 106-591 for the loser.
Diaconu came in having won his last scrap, against worn out Omar Sheika, after having dropped two straight to Jean Pascal, both UD title losses.
Dawson has been battling some family squabbles, and career direction woes in recent times. In his last outing, he lost a technical decision against Pascal, and in doing so, lost the WBC light heavyweight title. He got buzzed a little bit in round nine, and Steward told him after he needed to sweep the remaining rounds, and that he wasn't punching enough after the frame.
Overall, he maintained distance, using his 6-1 frame and his lefty stance smartly. Diaconu looked to pull a Lebedev in the 12th, but Dawson would have none of it. We'd go to the cards.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV