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Dawson vs. Ward: Just what boxing needs

Andre Ward and Chad Dawson talk with HBO's

Andre Ward and Chad Dawson talk with HBO's Jim Lampley ahead of their Sept. 8 bout.

Saturday could be a big day for boxing as Chad Dawson squares off against Andre Ward in a much-anticipated 168-pound bout at the Oracle Arena in Oakland live on HBO’s Championship Boxing.

Just how important is this fight to Dawson? Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) dropped down from light heavyweight to super middle weight to take the fight against Ward (25-0, 13 KOs). He also is fighting in Ward’s backyard in Oakland.

“A victory of Andre Ward would mean a lot for my career. We're talking about somebody who is rated very high on the pound-for-pound list, and somebody who has a lot of recognition,” said Dawson. “He won a Gold Medal in the Olympics. When you look at his resume, it doesn't really get any bigger than that, especially winning a Gold Medal for the United States, so I'm looking forward to the fight and going out there and I'll prove everybody wrong.”

Dropping down to 168 hasn’t been a problem, according to Ward.

“People are so wrapped up about the fact that I’m moving down to 168 pounds,” Dawson continued. “I’ll make the weight comfortably and I’ll be ready to fight on the eighth.”

But will Dawson remain at 168 pounds? Dawson acknowledged the advantages of both weight classes and believes a win will put him in the driver’s seat for future bouts.

“I've kind of got the best of both worlds. If I go down, if everything works according to plan and I win the title, and I'm looking for good fights in either weight class,” said Dawson.

So what does it do for boxing? It could do a lot, especially if it is a great fight. Ward was the last American to win a gold medal, while Dawson is a well-respected veteran. Ward is undefeated and fresh off winning the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic championship. He’s humble and is willing to fight anyone.

It’s an especially intriguing bout because both fighters are champions, Ward the 168-pound WBA and WBC champion and Dawson, the 175-pound WBC champ. Dawson announced that he would fight Ward at any weight he wanted, 168, 175 or even at a catch weight.

“I’m not the type of person who is going to go back and forth, back and forth,” Dawson said. “I told my promoter Gary Shaw to make this fight. I’d do 168 and I’ll go to Oakland, so I gave him every advantage.”


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