Boxing


Dawson should stop ducking Diaconu and prove his shaky chin!

By John Alutus: Today, the WBC announced a 3rd of June purse bid to determine the particulars of the WBC Light-Heavyweight Title unification fight between holder Chad Dawson and long-term mandatory Adrian Diaconu. On the 19th of April, in Bucharest, Romania, Adrian "The Shark" Diaconu beat tough, iron-chinned Chris "Hard Hittin'" Henry, on points in a contested and very entertaining fight, to become WBC Interim Champion. If Chad Dawson refuses to take part in the purse bid, the WBC will strip him of his belt and declare Diaconu the WBC Champion, it has been announced. Such a thing must never happen!

Let me quickly run through the events that led to the partition of the WBC Light-Heavyweight Title in the first place.

On the 9th of May 2007, Adrian Diaconu earned his place as mandatory challenger to Chad Dawson's WBC title with an emphatic three round brutal demolition of Rico Hoye. Chad Dawson, however, had other plans. He was chasing a fight with Antonio Tarver instead. Tarver, who had looked faded, unmotivated and lacking in focus against Bernard Hopkins the previous year, seemed easy prey to Dawson and a good trophy win on his resume to help augment his profile and help him enter the big-league of American boxing. Tarver however, didn't give in to Dawson's advances. He was on a carefully managed comeback trail. Whilst trying to draw Tarver in, Dawson voluntarily defended his WBC title against aged journeyman Jesus Ruiz. Under pressure to arrange a fight against mandatory challenger Adrian Diaconu and having failed to interest Tarver in a fight against him, Chad Dawson unwillingly relented. After seemingly endless negotiations, he agreed to face his mandatory Diaconu on the 29th of September in Sacramento, California. It was a much anticipated fight between the two best young contenders in an aged division. The clash of styles presented a mouth-watering prospect – the aggressive, explosive but fairly limited puncher against the smooth, fast, versatile but weak-chinned and tactically ill-disciplined boxer – both prime, live, unbeaten and hungry for success and acclaim, both with much to prove. Dawson had to prove his chin and mental strength; Diaconu – his class and skill. Ten days before the fight, disaster struck; Diaconu injured his hand in training – an MRI scan revealed bone contusions in his right hand and Diaconu was forced to pull out. At very short notice, aged, faded journeyman Epifanio Mendoza stepped in to give Dawson a stay busy fight and keep the card alive and the TV networks happy.

Diaconu came back from injury in October. He was reinstated as mandatory challenger by the WBC. Here, the story turns sour. Dawson argued that since Diaconu had pulled out, he shouldn't have to fight him. He argued that his fight against Mendoza should count as his mandatory defence of his title and that Diaconu's status as mandatory challenger should be revoked. The WBC, rightfully, insisted that since Diaconu has pulled out with a bona fide injury and was presently both very able and eager to challenge Dawson for the title, the Champion, Dawson, should make arrangements to fight his mandatory, Diaconu, as soon as possible, before fighting anyone else.

Incredibly, Dawson ignored the WBC's ruling. He refused to enter negotiations with Diaconu. This is the first time that Dawson ducked Diaconu. Not only had he tried to have Diaconu's mandatory status revoked for good, but he ignored a direct order from the WBC to fight Diaconu. Instead, Dawson was still chasing Tarver. Realising that Tarver remained uninterested in a fight against him at this stage, requiring more time to get back into shape and put his career back on track, Dawson started chasing a fight against 39-year old legend Glen Johnson instead. The "Road Warrior", Dawson thought, would be great risk/reward. A win over Johnson would make him well-known and open many doors for the ambitious Dawson.

Having ignored the WBC's ruling and ducked Diaconu, Dawson entered formal negotiations with Johnson in late 2007. In doing so, he ducked his mandatory challenger Diaconu a second time!

Surprisingly, the WBC didn't take Dawson's slight to heart, forgave him for his transgression, changed its mind in his favour and very generously permitted Dawson to fight Johnson first, as long as he agreed to fight Diaconu (if he remained Champion) by the 15th of March 2008. With this in mind, the WBC ordered Dawson to fight Johnson by the 15th of January 2008 at the latest. Dawson agreed. However, for the second time, he broke his promise to the WBC and ignored their ruling. The 15th of January deadline passed, as did the 15th of March deadline, and not only had Dawson failed to fight Diaconu, but he had not even started negotiations with him, nor had he managed to fight Johnson, with whom he had signed a deal, yet. In doing so, Chad Dawson ducked Adrian Diaconu for the third time. The WBC had finally had enough. Dawson had failed to honour his contractual obligations to the sanctioning body and to his mandatory challenger three times now, and having been forgiven twice only for him to go back on his word, enough was enough. For having repeatedly ducked his mandatory challenger, he was to be stripped of his title. Chad Dawson's fight against Glen Johnson was to be a non-title fight. After all, Dawson wasn't the only boxer in the world that should be allowed to fight for a world title. Diaconu had done more than enough to earn his shot at the title and Dawson had no right not only not to fight him, as his mandatory, but also to stop him from competing for the title by hugging the belt indefinitely. Too much was too much.

The most demeaning, dishonourable part of the sordid affair was yet to pass, however. Having ducked Diaconu and having arranged to fight Johnson long after the deadline, threatened with being stripped of his title, Dawson, accompanied by his promoter, Gary Shaw, reportedly flew over to Mexico and camped out for two days in front of the WBC President's residence, begging to be allowed in to petition him. Thus, after they had waited for two days outside his house, the WBC President allowed them in, unwillingly. Dawson begged him to sanction his fight against Glen Johnson as a title fight, claiming poverty and arguing he would be unable to feed his family if he were stripped. Impressed by his sorry story of woe, the WBC President forgave him for the third time, sided with him again and finally agreed to sanction the fight against Johnson as a world title fight. Having been reprieved for a third time, unbelievably, Dawson lowered himself even further. Having ducked Diaconu three times and having stopped him from competing for a world title three times by hugging the belt, and having just been allowed to fight Johnson with the belt on the table, Dawson had the nerve to ask the WBC President to revoke Diaconu's mandatory status for good yet again, so that the winner of Dawson v. Johnson would never have to face Diaconu ever again! In other words, he demanded that Diaconu never get a title shot for the WBC title! The WBC President, flabbergasted at the request, couldn't bring himself to swallow yet another injustice. He told Dawson that he would allow Diaconu to fight for the WBC Interim Championship and that the winner of Dawson v. Johnson would have to fight the WBC Interim Champion within 120 days, or get stripped of his share of the title. Incredibly, the President even asked Dawson to sign a contract agreeing to respect this ruling of the WBC! How humiliating! And this after Dawson had brazenly ignored the WBC's rulings on three separate occasions! Dawson agreed, finally and signed the contract.

This is how it came to pass that Dawson fought Johnson with the belt on the table and how Diaconu got to fight Henry for the Interim Title.

Of course, few were surprised when Dawson requested that he be allowed to unify his WBC belt against Tarver's IBF belt, recently. After all, Dawson clearly has no respect for the rules of his sanctioning body, for his given word, for the contracts he signs or for other boxers who are also trying to make a living and win acclaim. For this prima donna, it's me, me, me! Dawson thinks that because he is a promising 25-year old with smooth skills, he can disrespect everyone. He thinks he deserves to have the whole world at his feet no matter what! Such a person, with no credibility or respect for himself or anyone or anything else is not good for boxing and brings the word "Champion" into disrepute.

Dawson should stop ducking Diaconu! He should fight Diaconu to prove his shaky chin and his mental strength.

"The Shark" smells blood on that chin! Diaconu, limited as he is has the right attributes and style to expose Dawson's poor chin and lack of mental strength. If Dawson is afraid to get knocked out, he should drop the belt, but he should know that in doing so, he would lose the little respect that anyone has left for him.

It's time for Dawson to act like a man! It's Dawson's last chance to redeem himself, in the eyes of the WBC, of Diaconu and of boxing fans.

PROVE YOURSELF; FIGHT DIACONU! STOP RUNNING AWAY!

Article posted on 11.08.2008



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