Ryan Burton at BoxingScene.com has been covering a really weird beef, as it were, between light heavyweight titlist Chad Dawson and American Dreams promoter/fighter Ronald Johnson. In short summary:
- Johnson (11-1, 3 KO) called out Dawson. This might seem strange enough, but then he said he had millions of dollars to offer.
- Dawson basically responded, "Yeah. Sure. For millions of dollars, sure." And rightfully so, obviously.
Now, Johnson says he's offering $3 million, and Dawson's manager Mike Criscio is telling him to put the money up and they'll fight.
This is really a weird story overall, because you just don't get this sort of out-of-nowhere bluster and have it taken at all seriously too often. Johnson may be best known as The Other Guy on that November PPV show, where he was a promoter who fought Dumont Welliver, and put himself on the poster with Zab Judah and Joel Casamayor. Casamayor, for the record, says Johnson still owes him $10,000. Johnson disputes said claim.
This reminds me a lot of the Benzino-Eminem beef, where one guy is clearly trying to rally a career off of another guy's star. I've seen so little of Johnson in the ring that I don't feel comfortable assessing his skills, but he's 24 and has 12 pro fights with three stoppage wins. Generally speaking, that's not the stuff of a contender. The best fighter he's faced has been Darnell Boone (by far), and Boone won a six-round majority decision in 2005. Johnson turned pro in 2004 and has just those 12 fights to his name.
He's also listed at 5'9 1/2" which means he'd have a huge height disadvantage against Dawson, listed at 6'1" and maybe a smidge taller than that.
Even Googling articles about Johnson turned up a bit difficult. Here's one where he was supposedly fighting Bill Bailey for "the WBC light heavyweight championship," which was in actuality a fight for the WBC USNBC title, whatever that is. Bailey was 9-4 entering that contest.
I'm not trying to take any shots at Johnson. Again, I have barely seen him fight and it's certainly not been against the type of opposition where you can draw a real conclusion. And hell, if he really has this kind of money to throw out there, Dawson should probably fight him. But what a strange story. In a world where Chad Dawson is considered one of the best in the game, his options might be so limited that this totally bizarre turn of events might actually lead to his next fight.