By Lamar Sparkman
If Chad Dawson is sitting around wondering how he lost the first fight in his professional career he doesn’t have to look far. He fought the way he’s spoken prior to the fight in interviews, very cool and non chalant.
Fighting in front of a raucous crowd of more than 9,000 fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Dawson was too passive and allowed the WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 kos) to dictate the pace and distance. Dawson (29-1, 17 kos) had the physical advantages but failed to properly utilize them as the shorter Pascal was able to step inside Dawson’s reach, flurry and move out.
They both seemed hesitant to engage in the first two rounds but Pascal clearly won by using unorthodox movement to stay away and time Dawson with hard power shots and always finished the round in flurries. Although some of the punches were being blocked, it drew excitement from the crowd which obviously sways the judges in tightly contested rounds.
In rounds 4 and 5 Dawson started using his jab more effectively and landed a clean shots that seem to earn Pascal’s respect but he continued to fight cautiously and didn’t let his hands go consistently even when he had openings. In round 8 Pascal landed a straight right that stunned Dawson who grabbed and held long enough to make it out of the round. The following round started the way the 8th ended with Dawson ducking away from flurries and holding but after weathering the storm Dawson finally began to wake up and show a sense of urgency landing good body and head shots.
After Dawson’s corner implored him to apply pressure and acknowledged the importance of the last 2 rounds he came out in the 11th and dug to the body and had Pascal pinned against the ropes. After a barrage of punches it looked as though he was about to go down when Dawson let him move away giving him time to gather himself. Once at center ring Dawson caught him a good uppercut that stopped him in his tracks but when he went to follow up a clash of heads caused a nasty cut over Dawson’s right eye and the ring doctor requested that the fight be stopped.
Pascal won a technical decision by scores of 106-103 (twice) and 108-101 which was absurd. At the time of the stoppage Dawson was having one of his best rounds and looked on the verge of stopping Pascal. Pascal seemed very fatigued yet he would circle away, run in to throw flurries and immediately get out which Dawson allowed by not letting his hands go. Pascal presented many openings throughout the fight which Dawson simply didn’t take advantage of and when he did he wouldn’t follow up.
Pascal made a statement with the win and has many options, he won the ring magazine light heavyweight belt which had been vacated since Joe Calzaghe retired. There is a rematch clause which Dawson indicated he would exercise but Pascal is allowed to take a fight before a rematch. A fight with fellow Canadian super middleweight champ Lucian Bute would be huge in Canada and then there’s Tavoris Cloud who beat veteran Glen Johnson last week and even veteran Bernard Hopkins would refuses to go away. As for Dawson, he complained after the fights about constant head butts and holding but he need not make excuses and look in the mirror. He now has to pick up the pieces and learn from this fight. His promoter indicated they’ll come back for a rematch but he shouldn’t be in this position. Going into the fight he was considered not only the best light heavyweight but one of the best p4p fighters in the world and though the fight was stopped by a head butt he still was too far behind for being too passive and showing a lack of urgency until it was too late. For a fighter with so much promise one has to question if Chad has that instinct to overcome being down in a fight when things aren’t going his way? Does he have that mental fortitude and killer instinct one must have to be the best. He has all the skill and physical tools but he’ll have to answer the other questions.
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is born and raised in Nashville,TN I’m a business major currently taking classes for business and information systems. I enjoy watching many sports but there’s something unique about the discipline it takes to go through weeks of training to prepare yourself mentally and physically for a fight. I grew up watching boxing with my dad but stop watching in the late 90′s when sanctioning bodies watered the sport down with so many belts in each weight class. In 2005, I went to watch Hopkins/Taylor I and it brought me back, I’ve been a huge fan every since and enjoy reading and commenting about the sport with other fans.
Favorite boxers: Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roy Jones, Jr.
Most memorable fights: Tyson-Douglas, Bowe-Holyfield II, and Tyson-Holyfield I and II
Follow at http://twitter.com/lamarfromtn