Chad Dawson tells The Boxing Lab that he's grown tired of fighting older opponents, and that he's looking forward to mixing it up with his contemporaries, targeting super middleweight champ Andre Ward, as well as the winner of the August 11 fight between IBF light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal. Pascal, of course, is the only man who has beaten Dawson to date.
Most interesting is that the 29-year-old Dawson says he can make 168 pounds if he has to go down in weight for a fight with one of the top names in that division, where Ward currently leads the way.
"I can make 168, [I can make] 175 where I’m at and I’m on top of the division. I can make 168 so any of the guys down there, any of the big names, I’m ready for it."
Dawson (31-1, 17 KO) has fought Bernard Hopkins twice, including his April 28 win over the 47-year-old Hopkins, and has also fought elder statesmen Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson two times each. He has gone through the Seniors Tour at this point, with no more old fighters left to face, and in his defense, calling it the Seniors Tour isn't really a slam -- only the Tarver rematch was unnecessary, and that was mostly forced upon him. The other fights were all legit, against top guys in the division.
Dawson vs Ward frankly makes me cringe at how ugly and dull the fight likely would be, but considering I'm not a fan off either man's style usually, well, that's life. They're the best in the world right now at 175 and 168, and if that's a fight that networks want, it's a fight that could happen. Ward has seemed perfectly willing to accept that challenge, and may be further intrigued now that Dawson says he can do it at 168, and not make Andre Ward move up in weight if that's not something Ward wants to do yet.
[ Related: Hopkins Not Retiring After Loss to Dawson ]
The better fight, for my money, is a fight with the Cloud vs Pascal winner. It would be for division supremacy at 175, and both Cloud and Pascal bring a better fight than Ward does in terms of entertainment. And if Pascal beats Cloud, then you've got an intriguing Dawson-Pascal rematch that a lot of people would like to see, as most of us feel that Dawson basically laid an egg the first time around, but had Pascal in trouble late before the fight was stopped on a cut and sent to the cards early.
Dawson says he plans to return in September, which would rule out the Cloud-Pascal winner, but could be perfect for Ward if Ward does plan to fight this year. It could also work for, say, the Bute vs Froch winner, if Ward doesn't want the fight.
What would you rather see? Two division champions in Dawson vs Ward, even if it's a "worse fight," or Dawson waiting on the Cloud-Pascal winner?