Ward vs Dawson: Gary Shaw Not Worried About Bias in Oakland

Chad Dawson's promoter isn't worried about taking his fighter into Andre Ward's backyard on September 8. (Photo by Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

Gary Shaw, who promotes light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, says he's not concerned with any bias from the officials when Dawson faces Andre Ward in Ward's hometown on September 8:

"I’ve done a lot of fights there over the years, so I have no problem going to California at all. I know the commission there and I have confidence in the commission."

Dawson (31-1, 17 KO) and Ward (25-0, 13 KO) will meet at the Oracle Arena, where Ward once drew a nice crowd for his fight with Mikkel Kessler, but subsequent bouts with Allan Green and Sakio Bika didn't draw nearly as many fans, or as much money. One would think Dawson would be more valuable as an opponent than Green or Bika, but there is some worry that this thing will tank the way many recent cards in California have in the last year or so.

For instance, the "Four Warned" event on Showtime on June 2, headlined by Tarver vs Kayode and Winky Wright's return, heavily promoted, drew a whopping 1,200 (or so) paid and nearly 6,000 tickets were comped for the event so that it wouldn't look completely embarrassing.

In December, Mares vs Agbeko II in Anaheim drew just 1,161 paid (918 comped) for what was a very good show.

More than bias, which I wouldn't really expect in this case, the promoters and commission should be concerned about who they're going to get to pay to see this show, other than HBO. California's commission is near insolvency due to drastically reduced revenues for events, and there is at least some concern that boxing in the state could be shut down.

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