Emanuel Steward seemed to have mixed feelings about his first fight in Chad Dawson's corner. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman told us all night about a "new" Chad Dawson, strengthened by the Kronk training of Emanuel Steward, with Tommy Hearns' name perhaps said more times than that of opponent Adrian Diaconu.
But for the life of me, I didn't see much changed about Dawson tonight. He won, and he won clean and clear, but it was more or less the same Chad Dawson as always -- warts and all.
Dawson won on scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-112 for Dawson.
Dawson (30-1, 17 KO) did have moments in this where he looked like an improved fighter, but by the end of the fight, he was just Chad Dawson again. He came out standing up straighter, looking to take advantage of big height and reach advantages, and supposedly punching with bad intentions instead of being the same "lazy" Dawson of old.
But by the latter rounds, Dawson was leaning forward, giving away some height. He had stopped looking for big punches. And here and there, Adrian Diaconu (27-3, 15 KO) had moments that saw Dawson in a bit of trouble.
We'll see going forward if Dawson is indeed a changed fighter, or if at age 28 and on his eighth trainer, Dawson is what Dawson is. My bet is on the latter rather than the former, but Rome wasn't built in a day. All new boxer-trainer relationships take some time, and the good news is that Dawson won clearly tonight against a solid opponent.
We continue with our live coverage, focusing next on the Pascal vs Hopkins main event, coming up in moments.