Ward vs. Dawson: Epic Superfight Is Exactly What Boxing Needs

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2012

Courtesy of Alexis Cuarezma, Goossen Tutor
Courtesy of Alexis Cuarezma, Goossen Tutor

The sport of boxing is in dire straits right now. There is a great, money-drawing duo at the top with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, but once you get past those names, it is slim pickings to find anyone who can draw with a mainstream audience. 

With so few marquee names out there, the sport is desperate for something, anything, to cling on to that will bring it positive press, instead of talking about what's wrong with the judging or why Mayweather and Pacquiao won't fight. 

Finally, the sport gets some relief from all of that insanity on Saturday night, when Andre Ward puts his perfect 25-0 record and WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super middleweight titles on the line against Chad Dawson. 

A big problem that boxing is faced with, other than the few mentioned above, is a lack of big fights because two sides can't seem to come to an agreement, or one side doesn't want to risk his reputation and/or record in a fight they could lose. 

All you have to do is look at a heavyweight fight that takes place on Saturday between Vitali Klitschko and Manuel Charr. 

No offense to Charr, but no one outside of Germany and the hardest of hardcore boxing fans has any idea who he is. There is no way he should be getting a shot at the WBC Heavyweight title. 

Ward and Dawson gives boxing the match it needs at exactly the right time. These are legitimately two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. 

Ward has taken care of everyone in the super middleweight division, and done so with relative ease.

Dawson is the best fighter in the light heavyweight division, having taken care of Bernard Hopkins. That wasn't his best fight, but was good enough to get a victory. 

All of that has led these two men here, to this moment on Saturday night in Oakland, California. It is the perfect fight at the perfect moment for a sport starved for a huge, spotlight-stealing event. 

Regardless of whether or not this fight delivers on its promise of being the best, most vicious battle of the year, it should get people talking about boxing in a positive sense. Very few fights out there right now are capable of doing that. 

That is a lot of pressure to put on Ward and Dawson, though one that is completely justified based on their storied resumes.