It looked like a pick 'em to many folks, but Andre Ward made those people look like prognostigatory punks, knocking down Chad Dawson three times, and stopping him in round ten of their Sept. 8 clash in Oakland.
Dawson dropped down to 168 from 175 and evidently, in retrospect, that wasn't a smooth move. He didn't have the energy of strength at 168 that he did at 175, and in the following weeks a bit of the luster from the Ward win was erased. Still, no pundits didn't have the Oakland-based born again outside of the top three in their pound for pound lists after this result. Looking ahead, we now wonder if Ward isn't injury prone. He'll need surgery on an injured shoulder and that will scrap a fight against Kelly Pavlik, which no one was very pumped to see anyway. He had an injured hand going in to the fight before this one, against Carl Froch, and made it worse in that bout.
This is now a pattern, unfortunately; Ward injured a thumb and pulled out of an 2006 HBO Boxing After Dark bout; hurt a knee playing hoops and had to put off a fight with Enrique Ornelas in summer 2008; re-injured his knee and had to postpone an April 2010 fight with Allan Green, in that chaotic Super Six tourney; busted a finger before his Nov. 2010 fight with Sakio Bika and went into the fight hurt; suffered a cut over his right eye in September 2011 which forced postponement of the Super Six finale against Carl Froch that October; said he hurt his left hand in sparring for the Froch fight, and broke the hand in two places during the Dec. 17, 2011 bout; and injured his right shoulder in camp for a Jan. 26, 2013 fight with Pavlik. Hey, boxing is a tough sport, to state the screamingly obvious. Let us hope we aren't deprived of the talents of Ward prematurely because his body simply isn't built for the vicious rigors of the sport.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?