If ever a fight deserved intense scrutiny, it is the upcoming super middleweight title clash between Super Six World Boxing Classic winner Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO) and current lineal light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KO).
In an unprecedented move, two prime, lineal champions—Ward is 28 and Dawson is 30—agreed to fight each other without the histrionics and backdoor tactics that have become disturbingly prevalent in boxing today. Ward-Dawson is simply a case of the best fighting the best without the childish squabbles of money or promotional pride circumventing what fans and the sport of boxing deserve to see.
While the Ward-Dawson fight is certainly noble and refreshing—and hopefully the start of a positive trend in boxing—there is still the actual fight and the stakes of potential outcomes to consider. Very little separates Ward and Dawson, and they have combined for 15 world title fights, posting a joint 13-1 record with one no-contest.
Both Ward and Dawson find themselves in the pound-for-pound discussions—a case could be made for Ward being as high as No. 4, while Dawson, after defeating Bernard Hopkins, hovers around the top 10. Given their all-around skills and elite athleticism, it is difficult to pinpoint one area where either man has the overwhelming advantage.
Dawson, of course, is dropping seven pounds to move down to super middleweight, which means he will be the naturally bigger man and likely carry more power. Ward, however, has incredible adaptability and has thus far been able to adjust to any type of opponent.
Dawson holds a three-inch height advantage over Ward (6’3 to 6’0), as well as a five-and-a-half inch reach advantage (76.5 to 71). Ward, however, is fighting at his natural weight and at home. Fair trade?
Check out Ward and Dawson’s boxrec profiles for additional information as references from these pages will be used throughout this article. To determine who holds the ultimate edge in this fight of equals, a mixture of conjecture and number crunching must take place.
So, who holds the advantage in speed, power, heart, ring generalship and all the other essential categories? Let’s find out.