In the main event of tonight's HBO World Championship Boxing, Chad Dawson routed Glen Johnson over 12 rounds in a rematch of their tight 2008 battle, leaving no doubts this time about the identity of the superior fighter. Dawson kept his undefeated record with arguably the best and most impressive win of his career.
Still, the scorecards were close. Two judges scored it 115-113 for Dawson, and the third scored it a much more realistic-seeming 117-111. Bad Left Hook had it 119-109 for Dawson, who controlled the entire fight, landed all the best punches. HBO's Harold Lederman had it 118-110 for Dawson.
Dawson (29-0, 17 KO) clearly won the fight in my estimation, and everyone watching in our live thread agreed, so it's not just me. The scores sort of seemed as if they were overly cautious after the controversy of the first Dawson-Johnson fight. I felt the second Mayweather-Castillo fight had the same thing in a way.
But the right man won. Dawson made the 40-year-old Johnson look very old and slow for most of the fight. Johnson (49-13-2, 33 KO) never relented with his pressure, but he also never got anything established offensively.
Dawson's next move will be interesting. Hopkins and Jones are tied up, and past them there just aren't many names at 175. Dawson could fight the Pascal-Diaconu winner, or fight Tavoris Cloud. Both fights are attractive, but aren't money bouts, especially considering I doubt Dawson would go to Montreal to fight Jean Pascal, where it could do an excellent crowd.
Hats off to Dawson, who established himself for sure tonight. If there were any questions left, they should be gone now.