Ward vs. Dawson: Ward Will Struggle to Defend Belt Against Long-Armed Dawson

Steven GerwelContributor IIISeptember 8, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Andre Ward (L) and Chad Dawson stare at each other after their official weigh in for their fight tomorrow night at the City Hall Plaza on September 7, 2012 in Oakland, California.   Ward and Dawson will face off tomorrow night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After the disastrous boxing matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, where Pacquiao clearly dominated Bradley throughout the fight only to have the judges decide in Bradley's favor in what was obviously a fixed fight, the sport of boxing needs a good fight. 

Assuming the sport can force the money grubbers to keep their reptilian claws away from this match, we should be able to witness a memorable fight between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. 

Ward has a perfect 25-0 record and will be defending his super middleweight title against Dawson at the Oracle in Oakland, Calif. The match will take place on Saturday, September 8, and it will be televised on HBO at 9:45 pm ET. 

Dawson, the challenger, will fight Ward with a unique set of strengths that could ultimately end in an upset. 

Dawson has an impressive 31-1 career record, including 17 knockouts. His last match was against Bernard Hopkins on April 28, which ended in a victory for Dawson after he was rewarded with a majority decision. 

Dawson will give Ward a dose of size and strength that he's not used to. In fact, Dawson had to drop from his 180-pound everyday weight to 168 pounds in order to fight in Ward's class. 

Dawson also has a 76.5-inch reach compared to Ward's 71-inch reach, giving Dawson a 5.5-inch advantage. 

The southpaw, Dawson, is a dangerous combination of size and strength, and he certainly poses a threat. 

However, Ward is an undefeated fighter for a good reason. 

Ward has owned his super middleweight title since November of 2009. He has a dangerous amount of speed that may be too much for Dawson to handle, despite his strength and size. 

Ward is also a smart fighter who knows how to avoid big hits and devastating brawls. Some might consider his style cowardly and weak, but in reality, he's merely playing to his strengths and will do the same against Dawson. 

If Ward cannot avoid close encounters and the match becomes a gut check, then Dawson will likely leave the ring victorious. 

But if the match becomes a game of finesse, there's no reason to believe that Ward won't come out on top. 

In the end, this is a must-see match that is expected to leave a better taste in fans' mouths than the Pacquiao disaster. And we all know, the sport could really use a good fight.