Looking back at 2010 one fighter who should ultimately be rather frustrated about his year is “Bad” Chad Dawson who lost his unbeaten record due to effectively not showing up against Jean Pascal until the 11th round. A cut suffered from an accidental clash of heads saw the fight going to the score cards as the American was coming on strong and Dawson lost the technical decision. Other than the fight with Pascal Dawson was inactive, meaning the year was just a complete write off and one that the 28 year old from New Haven needs to put behind him.
2011 is a year where he gets the chance for redemption, a rematch with Pascal is almost certain to happen during the first half of the year and although it will probably be in Canada once again Dawson knows what he needs to do to beat Pascal who has shown his limitations in his last 2 fights. Pascal was being allowed to hit Dawson for a few reasons, though the key one was that Dawson was being very lazy, switching off for long stretches of the fight and holding back even when he had Pascal hurt. In the 11th round he rocked, hurt and stunned Pascal visibly through out the round with one of his very few flurries, and by far the most telling.
In 2008 Paul Williams, another American fighter that had been hyped to the moons, suffered the first loss of his career, a points decision to Carlos Quintana. The similarities between the two are numerous:
The Americans were unbeaten (Williams was 33-0 whilst Dawson was 29-0) going in
They lost on points
The “other” guy had suffered one loss (Quintana to Miguel Cotto and Dawson to Carl Froch)
In the Williams/Quintana rematch Williams fought as if he had been told to go out and make a statement, a simple win wouldn’t be enough, he stopped Quintana in the opening round. Personally I’m feeling Dawson also needs to make an impression, he needs to get in against Pascal and correct everything that was wrong with his first performance. Not only increase the work rate but also make up for the no show of the first fight. Pascal has been shown to tire massively in the second half of fights (like he has done again Bernard Hopkins most recently) though waiting for this to happen would take the shine off a stoppage for Dawson.
Interestingly Dawson hasn’t scored a stoppage since 2007 ( a 4th round TKO over Epifanio Mendoza) and has instead generally cruised to easy points victories. In the eyes of many Dawson is talented but lazy, against Pascal in their rematch I think he’ll attempt to prove that he deserved the hype, expect Pascal to be stopped in 4 one sided rounds. Hopefully he’ll have had the kick up the backside to get things sorted and go out and fight, not pose and look like a fighter not fighting.