Although he considers RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward to be his most difficult challenge to date, RING light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson also contends that Ward is “going to see something different in there, something he’s never seen before” when they meet in an HBO-televised bout on Sept. 8.
The 6-foot-1 Dawson (31-1, 17 knockouts) will be dropping from his usual 175-pounds to the lower division limit of 168 in an attempt to win Ward’s RING, WBA and WBC belts at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif.
“I would say this is at the top because the magnitude of the fight. You got two young guys, both champions in our divisions. The only difference is I’m going down to his division and challenging him for his title,” said Dawson, who turned 30 last month.
“I look at it like a big challenge for me due to the fact that I have to lose an extra seven pounds to get down to 168. So it’s a challenge for me and it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. The weight is good, and I left the gym yesterday weighing in at 176 pounds. I feel great.”
Ward, 28, whose father died in 2002 of a heart ailment, has credited his trainer and father figure, Virgil Hunter, for helping to guide him to the Olympic gold medal in 2004.
Ward became RING champion in December, when he unanimously decisioned Carl Froch to add the Englshman’s WBC 168-pound belt to the WBA crown that he already owned in addition to earning him the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup.
“He’s still just another fighter. I understand the fact that he won a gold medal and he has a great amateur background, but this is the pros,” said Dawson, who earned a majority decision win to dethrone the legendary Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) in April.
“He’s never been in there with a fighter like me. I don’t care what the media says or what people say, he’s never been in the ring with a fighter like me. On Sept. 8, he’s going to see something different in there, something he’s never seen before.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org