Dawson vs Stevenson: Superman Should Be Wary of Fighting Andre Ward

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2013

Jun 8, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Adonis Stevenson (gold/yellow) celebrates with the belt after knocking out Chad Dawson (not pictured) during the first round of their light heavyweight  WBC title bout at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

One punch does not a great fighter make.

It took a little over a minute for Adonis Stevenson to knock out Chad Dawson and win the WBC light heavyweight title on Saturday night.

While the future is looking a bit murky for Dawson now, Stevenson seems to have his next opponent already in mind. BoxRec's Philippe St-Martin tweeted that the new champ already has three lined up:

BoxingNews24.com's Scott Gilfoid posits that Andre Ward is the likeliest challenger. Stevenson narrowed down the list to Ward and Bernard Hopkins, and since Hopkins still has to fight Karo Murat on July 13, Ward is the logical choice.

It's a fight that Stevenson should heavily consider before making a final decision.

Stevenson's knockout was a ton of fun to watch. At the end of the day, though, it was just one punch. He caught Dawson flush, and Dawson ate the canvas. And it happened in the first round.

It's not as if Stevenson worked Dawson the entire fight before finally taking him down. There was hardly any fight for Superman to dominate, and fans shouldn't get too far ahead of themselves by using this knockout to overrate the champ.

Calling the fight a fluke is unfair to the winner. Stevenson saw an opening and took it, knocking out his opponent in the process. On the other hand, the win did nothing to allay the fears fans would have about future bouts.

There was nothing in the win that would show you Stevenson's not the kind of fighter whose aggression can sometimes cost him. However, Superman can let his hands down a bit too much as well.

Ward is a tremendous fighter. Moving up to 175 pounds will be a bit of an issue, but you'd still envision him dispatching Stevenson.

Superman is good when he can keep fighters at a good distance. Once his opponents get closer and start working inside, Stevenson runs into problems. If he leaves himself open, Ward will punish him for it.

Ward is a veritable Swiss Army knife. You wouldn't label his fighting style because he's used so many different ones in the ring.

He would be able to prolong the fight, using his smarts to avoid any haymaker. That's bad news for Stevenson, considering just six of his 22 fights have gone past the sixth round. The longer the fight goes on, the more you favor Ward.

Ward also has 14 knockouts in his 26 fights. That's not an otherworldly number, but it illustrates that he has enough power to end the fight early if Stevenson leaves himself exposed.

No matter what, Stevenson probably can't duck Ward forever. If there's a fight down the road between the two, Superman should wait until he works out a few of the kinks in his style.