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Official Picks for Dawson-Tarver II

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(Photo by Will Hart, via <a href="http://www.hbo.com/boxing/img/events/2009/0509-dawson-tarver-II/press1-wh/760x316-04.jpg">www.hbo.com</a>)
(Photo by Will Hart, via www.hbo.com)

Since we only did the one fight last week, I'm going to combine this one with Hatton-Pacquiao for next week's standings update.

Chad Dawson v. Antonio Tarver (Rematch, 12 Rounds - Dawson's IBF and IBO light heavyweight title)

Dawson easily outpointed Tarver last October, and by "easily" I mean "widely." Tarver barely dented Dawson, but he fought fairly well given his age, his recent performances, and his general overrated stature. It's not that Tarver hasn't done some really good stuff, but let's be honest: Outside of having Roy Jones' number (which he definitely did), what's he done that a lot of other guys haven't?

Dawson is 13 1/2 years Tarver's junior and has everything going for him in this fight. He beat him once without much trouble, is younger, stronger, faster, and didn't have any trouble with his fellow southpaw's style before.

But it's worth noting: Tarver has done very well in rematches over his career, and if he solves Dawson this time around, that's a big one. He lost to Eric Harding in 2000, beat him in 2002. He lost (controversially) to Jones in 2003, knocked him out in 2004, and beat him again in 2005. Between the second and third Jones fights, he lost to Glen Johnson, then rematched and beat him.

He's only lost to one guy so far that he didn't rematch: Bernard Hopkins, and he's not gonna get a chance to fix that one. With Dawson, he gets his chance again.

But I don't think he can do it. He's just not good enough anymore, and Dawson is at the age where if he's panning out as a real star fighter, he's just going to get better for the time being. This isn't a deep pick, and I don't expect many to go the other way: Dawson beats him again. This time, he stops him. Dawson TKO-10