Chad Dawson has a classic boxer's build: long and angular. He has very good defense and moves well behind his jab.
Since he is naturally right-handed but fighting in a southpaw stance, his lead hand is his dominant hand. While his straight left is an effective punch, his right hook and his uppercut from mid-range are his heaviest artillery.
Dawson has been fighting at the world-class level for over half a decade, since he beat Tomasz Adamek in 2007. He has beaten some of this era's most experienced and intelligent fighters, guys like Antonio Tarver, Bernard Hopkins and Glen Johnson.
Dawson told me that he expects to be back to full strength fighting at 175 again. While he isn't a major knockout puncher, he has always been a fighter who is able to impose himself physically.
Adonis Stevenson has explosive punching power, with a knockout ratio of 80 percent. He is a compact and rugged athlete, and there is no question that if he catches up to Dawson with a solid punch, he can put the champion in a dangerous place.
Fighting as the hometown guy in fight-mad Montreal is going to be an advantage for Stevenson. The energy from the crowd will give him an edge psychologically, and the fact that everything he does will be cheered wildly means he might get the nod with the judges on close rounds.