Super middleweight champion Andre Ward dominated and defeated light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson by technical knockout in the tenth round Saturday night, in Oakland, California.
Ward (26-0 13 KO) knocked Dawson (31-2-1 17 KO) down three times, including the final time in round ten when Dawson signaled he had enough, to stop him with stunning ease. With the victory, Ward retained the WBC and WBA 168 pound titles.
"These kind of fights Larry you have to take risks, you have to, or a it could be a snoozer or you could mess around and lose your title to a guy of that caliber," Ward told Larry Merchant in the ring after the fight.
From the beginning of the fight, it was clear that Ward was the smoother boxer and harder puncher.
He outlanded Dawson in every single round and most by wide margins. According to Compubox, Ward landed 155 punches to only 29 for Dawson (h/t New York Daily News).
It was nothing short of mastery and complete dominance.
Dawson was cut over the right eye in round two by an accidental headbutt and never seemed to get on track.
After the third knockdown in round ten, Dawson rose to his feet and appeared to tell referee Steve Smoger that he was done.
Dawson was also down in the third and fourth rounds.
"He was a lot stronger, a lot faster than I thought," Dawson told Larry Merchant in the ring after the fight. "He's an excellent champion. He deserves to be where he's at right now."
Dawson added that he plans to return to light-heavyweight and to defend his title there.
Could Ward be far behind him?
For a fight that was as anticipated as this one, it was shockingly one-sided and established Ward as boxing's newest superstar.
"I love to win Larry. Ya know I've gotten a bad rap early in my career. A lot of people say I didn't have it," Ward told Merchant. "But that's okay because that's what young fighters get. I'm still working. But like I tell everybody finishing guys off is the last piece of the puzzle and we're on our way to doing that."
Ward was non-committal about his future plans in the post-fight interview, but he would not rule out a move to light-heavyweight in the future.