Weekend Review: Dawson’s big night
Chad Dawson: OK, Dawson didn’t exactly stir the masses with his performance against Antonio Tarver on Saturday in Las Vegas. However, the tough, skillful light heavyweight titleholder did more than enough to beat his 40-year-old challenger, who presented a stiffer challenge than in their first meeting (which Dawson also won by decision) because he was more active and determined. Thus, Dawson survived a rematch he never really wanted and can now pursue the biggest fights at both 175 pounds and 168 pounds. Isn’t that the ultimate objective? To win convincingly and keep moving forward?
Chad Dawson: Dawson continues to win, a habit that isn’t likely to be broken any time soon at either 175 pounds (his current weight) or 168 pounds (a weight at which he’s willing to fight). He’s going to have to do more than just win to retain the backing of HBO and earn a meaningful following, though. Here’s the problem: He doesn’t have a compelling personality or story; he’s just an average Joe who happens to fight well. And he doesn’t have an exciting style or one-punch knockout power; he has outpointed his best-known opponents. So what is he to do? He’ll have to take more risks in an effort to stop his highest-profile opponents and avoid periods in which he seems to cruise if he wants to become a star.
Antonio Tarver: The five-time light heavyweight titleholder is dreaming if he thinks he beat Dawson on Saturday. At most – and this is a stretch – he won four rounds. He did come to fight, though, at least more so than he did in their first fight. He made the fight competitive by matching Dawson punch for punch, even if he landed at a much lower rate. And some of his best flurries gave Dawson pause and were reminiscent of his younger days. Give him credit; his effort was the main reason Dawson struggled to some degree. Tarver probably would be wise to call it quits but seemed to prove on Saturday night that he has some fight left in him
Anyone who thought Tarver beat Dawson: C’mon, you didn’t even have to keep score to see that Dawson was landing at least twice as many punches as Tarver for most of the fight. Yes, Tarver was more active than he was in the first fight. And, yes, he landed some hard punches. However, Dawson was more active and landing more power punches. All three judges had Dawson winning easily, HBO’s Harold Lederman had Dawson winning easily and former judge Chuck Giampa had Dawson winning easily. What are people seeing?
MOST-OVERESTIMATED SELF WORTH
Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Mayweather reportedly wants a 60-40 split of the purse in his favor in a fight against Manny Pacquiao. Is he nuts? Pacquiao is the hottest fighter on the planet – one of the hottest athletes, period. Mayweather was never a huge draw and is coming off a long layoff. I can see 50-50 because Mayweather will generate considerable interest in the U.S. market. But 60-40? Who knows, perhaps that’s Mayweather’s way of saying he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao. Perhaps, after Pacquiao’s demolition of Ricky Hatton, he doesn’t believe he can beat the Filipino.
Hector Camacho: Hey, no one should prevent 46-year-old Camacho from fighting if he’s healthy and can defend himself to a reasonable degree. My question is this: Why would anyone want to see it? Camacho was once one of the most-talented and quickest boxers in the world. He started his career 38-0. Now, his athletic skills and speed badly faded, he’s just an old guy with a recognizable name and very little to offer in the ring. Again, though, everyone has to make a living. He drew with Yory Boy Campas on Saturday.
MOST-OVERSTAYED WELCOME II
Yory Boy Campas: Again, if he wants to fight, God bless him. Campas was once a much-feared fighter. He was 56-0 (with 50 knockouts) when he stepped into the ring to face Felix Trinidad, who stopped him in four rounds. However, that was 1994 – 15 years ago. Today, Campas, now 37 and a shell of what he was, has an astounding 107 fights on his resume. He’s still at least somewhat competitive – he’s 7-8-1 in his last 16 fights – but he’s taken a lot of punches to the head. When is enough enough?
BEST-POSSIBLE PACQUIAO OPPONENT
Shane Mosley: A Pacquiao-Mayweather fight – assuming Mayweather beats Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18 – probably would generate the most money. However, it most likely wouldn’t be the most-entertaining fight. Mayweather probably would spend as much time running as fighting. A Pacquiao-Mosley fight is much more intriguing because both of them are real fighters, willing to take risks to inflict damage. And Mosley most likely wouldn’t suffer the same fate at Hatton. He’s as quick as Pacquiao and at least as polished. It could be a war. Pacquiao-Cotto is also appealing but Cotto doesn’t have the pizzazz of Mosley. If Marquez beats Mayweather, no one would complain about a third Pacquiao-Marquez fight.
Neal H. Cruz, the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Today he is admired. But when he becomes a congressman, people will curse him and call him ‘thief,’ ‘liar’ and ‘corrupt.'” On Manny Pacquiao.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]