Chad Dawson looked every bit a 37-year-old, faded former world champion tonight in Hartford, Connecticut, but it was enough to get the job done against Denis Grachev in a CES Boxing main event on UFC Fight Pass.
Dawson (36-5, 19 KO) never really pressed in the fight, mostly easily able to outbox the thoroughly limited Grachev (19-9-1, 10 KO), who lost his second straight and falls to 6-8 in his last 14 outings.
While Dawson was the better fighter here, there wasn’t much to recommend that this is a serious comeback headed for a threat to the top of what is a very strong 175-pound division at the moment. This is the same Chad Dawson who was stopped in 10 by Andrzej Fonfara in 2017 and lost a decision to Tommy Karpency in 2014; he’s never really been the same since his 2012 move down in weight to fight Andre Ward, where Ward dominated him and stopped Dawson in the 10th round. That was followed by a 76-second knockout at the hands of Adonis Stevenson.
Dawson, though, obviously has his sights set on bigger than eight-round fights in his home state, and said so after the fight.
“I’m 37 years old, but I feel like I’m 25,” he said. “I’m ready for any of the guys at the top. If any of those guys wanna test me, the better the competition, the better I’m gonna perform.”
To be fair, he is as ready as he’s going to get for shots at the division’s top guys, but he clearly doesn’t pose any threat to them at this stage of his career. He still looks in great shape, can still make 175 pounds, obviously, which says plenty about his dedication to conditioning. But the spark is long gone. “Bad” Chad returning to the top of this division in anything more than a predictable sacrificial role would be a big, big upset.
Cassius Chaney KO-1 Santander Silgado
Look, Chaney at 32 is old for a prospect, and Silgado is really a career cruiserweight and a chinny one at that, albeit also a tall one who can carry heavyweight OK enough. But this was still a brutal KO:
The first right of the fight... @CESBoxing #CESBoxing— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) October 12, 2019
1:03 R1 pic.twitter.com/Evfmz0kOgO
Chaney (17-0, 11 KO) is promoted by Main Events and has had something of a highlight 2019, as you may recall him being involved in that fight on a Top Rank prelim show in July, where he knocked Joel Caudle out of the ring and Caudle got up and came back for more, only to be stopped moments later. Silgado falls to 28-8 (22 KO).
Jimmy Williams D-6 Jose Medina
Terrific, action-packed fight here, as Williams (16-3-2, 5 KO) and Medina (18-17-2, 7 KO) both brought the heat for this six rounder, which wound up a split draw. One judge had it even at 57-57, and the other two went 58-56, one to Medina, one to Williams. The draw is a fair enough result, and 58-56 either guy is a fair enough result, so the judges were fine in this one. I wouldn’t mind seeing CES run this one back at some point, honestly. Obviously neither of these guys, both in their mid-30s, are headed for world title glory, but a fight like this one is a welcome addition to any broadcast.
Sharad Collier TKO-4 Glenn Mitchell
This fight closer resembled a drunken parking lot brawl at many points than it did professional boxing, but that’s not all bad. Collier (3-0-1, 3 KO) was fighting in his hometown here, and the 22-year-old lightweight went down on a jab in the first round, but recovered well and pretty much dominated the reckless, flailing Mitchell (3-4, 3 KO), who has still been stopped or stopped the opponent in every fight of his pro career.