RING light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson is less than a month away from challenging RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward for his crowns, including the WBA and WBC belts, at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif.
On the undercard of the clash between Ward (25-0, 13 knockouts) and Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs), WBC lightweight beltholder Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs) will make his third defense against John Molina (24-1, 19 KOs).
Prior to DeMarco-Molina, HBO will televise a tape-delayed fight between WBC heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) against unbeaten Manuel Charr (21-0, 11 KOs) from Olympisky Sport Hall in Moscow.
The son of a former boxer, Dawson shares about his transition into the sport of pugilism from being a high school athlete.
Monday, August 20: Dawson – Discuss your decision to choose boxing, and how your athleticism in basketball and other sports helped shape you into a world champion.
“I decided to take up the sport of boxing because my father was a boxer and he introduced me to the sport when I was four years old. He couldn’t take his career to the next level because he had a family to look after. I have six siblings, four brothers and two sisters, so you could imagine how tough it was trying to make ends meet for him. My brothers and I spent a lot of time training in the gym with my dad, and I fell in love with the sport at a young age.
“Once I started fighting amateur, I really believed I could be one of the best, because it was such a natural feeling for me to be in the ring. I always wanted to show my dad that I could be a great boxer and one day become world
“In high school I played quarterback and wide receiver and was the starting point guard on the varsity basketball team. Those positions require a lot of mental preparation and I really believe it helped me be a better thinker in the ring. While juggling all three sports, it was very difficult to stay focused on my academics, and my grades started to fade. I lost my starting position as a point guard and my interest in football was no longer there.
“When you’re a young teenager growing up and the future looks dim, you can easily get caught up in the wrong crowd and head down the road to destruction. I needed to make a decision on what I wanted to do with my life and decided to dedicate myself to the sport of boxing. In boxing, it’s a gift to be able to make adjustments during the middle of a fight, and my experience playing quarterback and point guard definitely helped out.
“I consider myself an intelligent fighter and one that can make an adjustment on the fly. Right now I’m on top of the world and I took this fight with Andre Ward because boxing should be about the best fighting the best. That’s what real fighters do…fight the best.”
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org