This Saturday October 8 Oakland, CA will be the site for an interesting matchup at the super middleweight division. "Bad" Chad Dawson will challenge Andre "Son of God" Ward for his 168 pounds championship belts. Ward is the consensus champ at 168 after defeating the best super middleweights in the world over a two year period in the "Super Six" tournament. Dawson became the first man to legitimately defeat Bernard Hopkins in almost two decades.
It was after the second Hopkins fight that Dawson called out Ward in his post fight interview. If you're one of the few people that actively follow boxing then you know a top flight guy calling out another one doesn't mean the fight will happen. However both of these champions deserve applause for signing on the dotted line. Dawson is taking a risk by fighting Ward in his hometown of Oakland. Dawson is also coming down in weight to 168 after fighting his previous two fights at 175. After handling all challengers at 168, Ward is showing that he is willing to fight the best between 160 and 175.
Even though the Ward camp refused to meet at a catch weight between 168 and 175 and didn't seem to want the fight in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, the fact that Ward has put his belts on the line means something to me. Ward won Olympic gold in Athens 2004 (the last American to do so), turned professionally soon after and then went about slowly and quietly building an unbeaten record. Ward currently stands at 25-0 with 13 knockouts. However he really didn't start to face opponents with name recognition until the 'Super Six" tournament. He dispatched Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch. Those four wins cemented Ward as a legit superstar in boxing.
Chad Dawson will have a height and reach advantage over Andre Ward. Dawson will have to utilize those assets to have a shot at winning. Ward likes to mix it up inside. He also is a boxer that works the body and the body blows will have an effect on Dawson's measurements. It will be a close, competitive fight. It should also be an entertaining fight with both two fighters that are willing to engage. I like Andre Ward to retain his two belts on the scorecards.
Take my prediction for what it is worth because I didn't get a chance to see Marshall attempt a game winning field goal in Morgantown.