Dawson is set to challenge 46-year-old Ring and WBC lightheavyweight beltholder Bernard Hopkins at The Staples Center in Los Angeles on HBO Pay Per View on Oct. 15.
But since debuting in the corner of Dawson for his unanimous decision over Adrian Diaconu in May, Steward has been awaiting the fighter’s arrival in his Kronk Gym, in Detroit.
The problem is, said Steward, Dawson has never shown up.
“I haven’t trained him since the Diaconu fight. That’s it. I’ve been looking for him every week, and he wasn’t returning calls. So finally, his lawyer called me up, and then his promoter, Gary Shaw, called me up. They said that he wants to stay close to home because he’s had a new little baby boy born,” said Steward.
“So I guess that he wants to stay close to home in Connecticut, and I told them that I can’t pack up and leave. [Trainer] Ronnie Shields called me up yesterday and asked me where Chad was, and I said, ‘I guess that he’s training in Connecticut.’ Whatever he’s doing, I don’t know. I don’t know who is training him. He never calls.”
“I talked to his lawyer, who is a nice guy, but he was very disgusted with what’s going on, particularly with the magnitude of this fight,” said Steward.
“Whoever he’s training with, it’s going to be difficult to put together a training camp at this damn late of a date four weeks before a fight because you only box for three weeks, and then, you have one week where you don’t do much of anything.”
Steward replaced Dawson’s former trainer, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, following his 11th-round, technical decision loss to Jean Pascal. Prior to that, Dawson had been trained by Floyd Mayweather, Sr., John Scully and Dan Birmingham.
“When he trained with Eddie Mustafa, where did he train? He trained in Las Vegas where Eddie lives. When he trained with Floyd Mayweather Sr., he trained in Vegas where Floyd lives, When Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan train, they do it at Freddie Roach’s gym in Hollywood,” said Steward.
“Whenever you’re training a fighter for a big fight like this, you want to be where you’re comfortable as a trainer. He’s a good fighter and he loves his family, so I give him credit for that, and I wish him the best of luck.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org