Super middleweight world champion Andre Ward and light heavyweight world champion Chad Dawson will meet on September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, televised by HBO, a rare case of two legitimate world champions, the best fighters in two divisions, meeting in a fight to simply prove who the better man is.
Dawson (31-1, 17 KO) will be coming down to 168 pounds for this fight, meeting Ward (25-0, 13 KO) in the weight class that the former Olympic gold medalist has dominated since 2009.
The 28-year-old Ward last fought in December, convincingly beating Carl Froch to win Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic, a tournament he owned from the get-go. Dawson, 29, last fought on April 28, beating the legendary Bernard Hopkins in Atlantic City.
After the jump, photos and quotes from the Monday press conference in Oakland, with thoughts from Ward, Dawson, trainers Virgil Hunter and John Scully, and promoters Dan Goossen and Gary Shaw.
Andre Ward: "The road I've taken to this point has not been easy. Being back on HBO is a big thing, but fighting on HBO in my hometown is huge. To be great you have to fight the best. Chad has beaten the best so these are the type fights I want to take. I will put on a great show for all the fans that come out to Oracle Arena."
Chad Dawson: "This is a big fight for me. I know there will be a huge crowd for Andre, but I'm not afraid. I'm happy to be the underdog in this fight. I haven't been the underdog in a long time and I'll do what I have to do to win this fight."
Virgil Hunter, Ward's Trainer: "Weight training shouldn't take the thrill of the victory away. It's a battle to get to 168 lbs for both fighters. While other fighters are playing games not taking fighters, these two have stepped up. It's going to be a great fight for all the fans."
John Scully, Dawson's Trainer: "I'm very excited to be involved with this fight. You got two prime, hungry, young guys ready to go at it. It will be a tactical fight and Chad will be ready. I think Chad and Andre are going to mix very well. I think clean combination punching will be Dawson's advantage."
Dan Goossen, Ward's Promoter: "This is the type of fight that makes a crossover superstar. Nothing will get in Andre's way, no chatter, no nothing. He is focused on this fight. This is why I can't to see 17,000 fans in Oracle Arena on Sept, 8. It will be filled with electricity. Andre is a special fighter and Virgil is the Zen Master."
Gary Shaw, Dawson's Promoter: "We all saw what Chad did to Hopkins and I believe Dawson is the better fighter. The winner of this fight is no doubt going to be a superstar. I'm so confident in this fight Goossen can have his six brothers be the judges. In this fight you have two fighters who hold belts, who are steroid free, who are young and will bring their best on fight night."
(Photos by Alexis Cuarezma - Goossen Tutor)