Boxing


Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson II Soon - Who Wins?

dawson johnson boxing by James Slater, photo by Wray Edwards / ESB - As eagerly awaited as any rematch at light-heavyweight in the past few years, young talent Chad Dawson and tough old warrior Glen Johnson will be getting it on again before the year is out. According to ESPN.com, the fight, already signed, will likely take place on November 7th, at a venue still to be decided. As fans who saw the original fight between the two 175-pounders know, the styles of the two men gelled well and some great action came as a result. However, the debate still goes on in some quarters as to who really won back in April of 2008. "Bad" Chad was awarded a unanimous decision in Miami, Florida - with all three judges seeing him the victor by identical scores of 116-112 - but "The Road Warrior" cried robbery and some fans agreed with him.

Now, having given up the IBF title he subsequently won by beating Antonio Tarver after having given up his WBC strap, 26-year-old Dawson faces the teak-tough 40-year-old in a lucrative rematch. Who will win?

Though he was deemed lucky by some to have kept his WBC crown back in April of last year, southpaw Dawson must be made at least a slight favourite to win in November. This is not to come close to suggesting we should write off Johnson, it's simply an opinion. Faster than Glen, so much younger and still to reach his very peak, Chad won't shock too many people if he repeats his points win over the veteran. But will that be enough?

Another close, debatable points win will not win Dawson any new fans. Yet at the same time, if the fighter who is a slick boxer by heart goes out and switches tactics in a drastic attempt to become only the second man to ever stop the 49-12-2(33) former IBF champion (the great Bernard Hopkins being the sole KO winner over Glen at present, stopping him in the 11th-round way back in 1997 down at middleweight), Dawson could be in trouble.

Hit hard and often by Johnson last spring - somewhat shockingly so at times for such a gifted operator - Dawson finished the fight showing his share of marks of battle. Would the 28-0(17) class act be better served boxing a more crafty, hit-and-not-be-hit type of fight this time around? Or will Dawson indeed go for the statement-making stoppage win?

We all know how Johnson, as honest a pro as you could wish to find, will fight in November. Nothing flashy, nothing fancy, just hard work and a resolute effort is what we always get when the 40-year-old fights. Relying on amazing conditioning (especially amazing considering his age and number of tough, gruelling fights), a sturdy chin and old-school skills, "Gentleman" Glen goes to work in his usual grim-faced way. It's fair to say, the only time Johnson has shocked us to the core was when he flattened Roy Jones Junior in the 9th-round back in 2004. Not known as a monster puncher, Johnson sure let loose with some hard-looking shots that night.

A stoppage of Dawson would be something else entirely though (Jones was coming off a 2nd-round KO at the hands of Tarver, after all). What we can expect in November is another highly engrossing fight, and once again a distance fight looks a good bet from here. Unless Dawson gets reckless as he tries to win over new fans with a KO win (in what would be his first in over two years), or unless Johnson suddenly begins to show his age (a possibility), a fight very much similar to their first is what these two excellent light-heavies will give the fans in 2009's penultimate month.

The decision might well leave Johnson and his supporters feeling as aggrieved as the first result did, but after another good fight Dawson will win on points.

Article posted on 02.07.2009



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