Professional boxing has slogged through the dog days of summer with little of major consequence to offer fans, a fact not uncommon as the fall typically provides the kind of blockbuster fights supporters yearn for during the year’s hottest months.
Thankfully, this coming autumn will be no different, and the first half of September promises to shift the tectonic plates of both the middleweight and super-middleweight divisions. The looming fights of Chad Dawson vs. Andre Ward (September 8) and Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (September 15) are two of the year’s most anticipated bouts, and the respective outcomes will have major championship, pound-for-pound and monetary implications.
With the Olympics having provided the most significant boxing excitement and intrigue this past summer, fans have now officially redirected their attention to the paid ranks as the build-up to the two aforementioned fights intensifies.
While it certainly wasn’t intentional, Arthur Abraham’s win this past Saturday over Robert Stieglitz to claim the WBO super middleweight title was a tantalizing and well-time prequel to Ward-Dawson and Martinez-Chavez Jr., given Abraham’s lengthy middleweight title reign and the new beginning of his championship run at super middleweight.
Abraham deserves a mention because his win over Stieglitz reinforces the depth at super middleweight (especially), which means that the outcome of Ward-Dawson, and even Martinez-Chavez Jr., will have ripple effects that could impact the course of major fights from 160 all the way to the light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds.
Fans and pundits undoubtedly find Ward-Dawson and Martinez-Chavez Jr. tantalizing for a multitude of diverse and perhaps contradictory reasons. However, is it possible to determine which fight will have a greater impact on boxing? Let’s find out.