Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Ward eyes Dawson, picks Mayweather and Mosley

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LAS VEGAS — RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward spoke to RingTV.com concerning a potential bout with RING light heavyweight king Chad Dawson, and also shared his view on Saturday night’s junior middleweight title bouts featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr. against Miguel Cotto, and Saul Alvarez opposite Shane Mosley.

Rated No. 5 pound-for-pound by THE RING, Ward (25-0, 13 knockouts) has been declared the WBC’s “champion in recess” apparently for failing to make a mandatory defense of his crown against Anthony Dirrell of Flint, Mich., who has been directed to face Nikola Sjekloca, of Budva, Montenegro, according to the organization’s Secretary General, Mauricio Sulaiman.

Although the ruling effectively stripped the 28-year-old resident of Oakland, Calif., of the belt he won by defeating England’s Carl Froch in the December finals of Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight Classic, Ward’s adviser, James Prince, knows that his fighter’s resume trumps the belt.

Prince acknowledged that he and Ward’s promoter, Dan Goossen, have begun the process of making a bout with Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs), whose majority decision win dethroned Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) in Atlantic City on April 28.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to face Dawson, and it’s about to be in the works real soon. As a matter of fact, some conversation already has taken place. We’re excited about it,” said Prince.

“We think it could happen in September, and I would like to see it on the West Coast. We want to be where the people are going to show up.”

Below is the RingTV.com interview with Ward.

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RingTV.com: Your thoughts on the result of Dawson-Hopkins II?

Andre Ward: You know what? It was a tough fight for both guys. It’s really tough to comment on it. What can you say?

Of course, Bernard feels like he won. Chad fought a good fight, and he did what he to do. There’s really not much else I can say about it or take from it.

RingTV.com: Being that your name came up even prior to Dawson-Hopkins II as a potential opponent for the winner, what are your thoughts on facing Dawson?

AW: Chad is coming off of a really big win, and he’s a great talent in the sport. He’s one of the more naturally-skilled guys and athletic guys in the sport.

I think that it would be a great matchup between Chad Dawson and I, and I think that the matchup can be made and should be made.

RingTV.com: How does it sound to you that it’s a RING champion against a Ring champion if it happens?

AW: I can’t remember the last time that’s happened, so I think that it would be a great fight for the fans.

RingTV.com: How would he stack up in terms of the luster and caliber of opponents you faced in the Super Six?

AW: I think that if Chad and I were to fight, you know, I mean, every fight is not a blockbuster fight. It took Floyd Mayweather a long, long time to get where he is now.

But it’s a blockbuster fight. Floyd had to prove himself by fighting tough fights. You know, the Zab Judahs and the DeMarcus Corleys and tough fights with really great fighters, and that’s the kind of guy that Chad is. 

I don’t know if it’s a step up, because I’ve fought some really great fighters, but it’s the right step and a step in the right direction.

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RingTV.com: Would that fight take place at 168 or would you rise to 175 to face Dawson?

AW: We’ve heard him say that he can make 168, and right now, I would have no problem going up. So I’m a super middleweight.

So that’s where I stand with it. But Chad has said that he can come down, so that remains to be seen what weight we fight at.

RingTV.com: When was the last time that you fought a southpaw?

AW: It’s been a while, but I don’t have any problems with southpaws. Historically, in my career, I have just never had any problems with southpaws.

I know that it’s a different angle, and that Chad is a tall and lanky guy, but it’s not something that I can’t overcome.

RingTV.com: Given that you consider Hopkins somewhat of a mentor, and his record against southpaws is 10-2-1, with two no-contests, would you be hitting him up for a scouting report on Dawson?

AW: I probably wouldn’t. I trust my own eyes. I trust what I see, and I trust what my coach, Virgil Hunter, sees. That’s never been my style or my approach.

I mean, I don’t knock guys that do that, but I see what I see and I trust what I see and I know what I need to do. So I probably wouldn’t.

I’ve seen both of the fights that he had with Bernard, and I’ve watched Chad for years. Anybody who is close to my weight class, I watch.

RingTV.com: Your thoughts on who wins Mayweather-Cotto?

AW: You have to go with the master, Floyd Mayweather, you know? But Cotto’s a live fighter and he’s coming to fight. Cotto is going to have the Puerto Ricans on his back.

But, Floyd has always found a way. But that’s the beauty of these big fights. You never know. You may lean one way or the other, but it will be a great fight at the end of the night.

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RingTV.com: What about Alvarez-Mosley?

AW: I’m going with the seasoned veteran. I think that he can stop Canelo. That’s nothing personal against Canelo. Canelo has done a good job and does a good job. But he’s kind of a guy that is made to order for Shane Mosley.

I know that you can’t get time back, and Shane’s aging and different things like that. Sometimes, that right shot will never come in a 12-round fight.

But I think that if Shane can land, then he can cause Canelo some big problems in this fight. I’m just talking about fighters who stand right in front of Shane.

Fighters who stand right in front of Shane and fighters who don’t have a plan B and only have a plan A, they’re guys who are going to have problems with Shane.

That’s not always a given, but we have to wait and see. That’s the beauty of professional boxing. You just never know what’s going to happen.


Photo by Craig Bennett

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Craig Bennett

Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

 

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