In perhaps his best and most dominating performance as a pro, Andre “S.O.G. Ward completely dismantled the naturally bigger WBC Light Heavyweight Champion “Bad” Chad Dawson en route to a stunning 10th-round TKO and successful defense of his WBA & WBC Super Middleweight titles at Oracle Arena.
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On the HBO
® World Championship Boxing telecast Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), as many expected, utilized his superior quickness to his advantage right from the opening bell and his sharp, crisp punches opened a cut over Dawson’s right eye in the second round. In Round 3, Ward’s power
took over and he sent the New Haven, CT native to the canvas with a left hook to the head. Dawson recovered, but in the fourth round was sent to the deck again in identical fashion.
Ward registered a third knockdown in the 10th round when he delivered a solid left hook behind Dawson’s ear. After issuing a standing 8-count, referee Steve Smoger called a halt to the fight. The time was 2:45 of the 10th round.
Prior to the knockout, all three judges had Ward with a decided advantage, with only 1 round given to Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) by two of the judges. Marshall Walker scored the fight 90-89 and both Julie Lederman and David Mendoza saw it 89-80 in favor of the hometown champion.
“I was carrying the weight of being the champion into the ring tonight, and Dawson was a dangerous opponent,” Ward acknowledged. “I took the risk of fighting the bigger man. He had the height and reach advantage, but he sacrificed the weight. I was surprised that he wasn’t as fast as he looked like he was on the tapes I watched. I could see everything coming from the start of the fight. Virgil kept telling me to turn it up. That’s what I did.
“I love to win and the better the competition, the more I rise to the occasion. It might have looked like it was easy, but Chad Dawson was a monster, added Ward, who made the fourth defense of his WBA title and first as WBC champion. “Guys have been asking me what it’s going to take to finish the puzzle. Finishing guys off is the last piece of the puzzle and we are on our way to doing that.”
Classy in defeat, Dawson said: “I did everything I had to do to prepare for this fight. He (Ward) was a lot faster than I thought he was. He is strong too. I don’t take anything away from him because he is definitely one of the best. I just felt like I couldn’t get anything off tonight. I didn’t have a problem with the weight; the weight was fine. I am going to go back to 175 and decide what I am going to do next. Andre Ward is a hell of a champion.”
In the co-main event, Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco jumped on John Molina right from the opening bell with a barrage of unanswered punches causing referee Jack Reiss to stop the contest at 0:44 of the first round. DeMarco retained his WBC Lightweight title.
“I dedicated this fight to Los Mochis, Mexico for all my fans,” DeMarco exclaimed. “John Molina was a very strong person. I told him to keep working hard and to get back on top.”
Demarco, normally a fighter who patiently tries to break down his opponents slowly and methodically, reverted to an ultra-aggressive style to stun his opponent. I’m a different person in the ring when I see somebody hurt ,” said the champion. When I see him hurt now I jump on him.”
Next up for DeMarco could be a title defense against fast-rising young star Adrian Broner. Insisted DeMarco: “Yes, I am willing to fight Adrian Broner anytime, anywhere. Tomorrow!!!”
“I was very disappointed at myself and with the stoppage. I wasn’t hurt. I thought for sure I would be able to fight my way out of that, but it was a tough hole to fight out of. Instinctively I wanted to fight back right away (instead of taking a knee and and eight-count). I didn’t feel in enough trouble for Jack Reiss to stop it. Take nothing away from them (DeMarco & Reiss). They did their job. I’ve gotta come back from this. Jack Reiss is one of the best refs and DeMarco is a great champion.”
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