20-20 Hindsight: Will the Real Chad Dawson Please Stand Up? And Please Roy, Knock It Off

Saturday's rematch between Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver was better than the first one, even if that's not saying too much. It was also a perfect example of why I call these Monday posts 20-20 Hindsight, because people seem to be jumping off the Chad Dawson bandwagon in a hurry.

You may recall that after the first Dawson-Tarver bout, just about everyone was breathless in their praise for Bad Chad. Floyd Mayweather Jr. gushed that he was the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and HBO decided they had to have him on their network.

Now? Well, let's just say the enthusiasm has been dampened a bit.

Failing to excite tends to do that. Dawson obviously has some physical gifts and definitely looks the part. That only makes what we just saw so puzzling.

He clearly had much faster hands and seemed to have more pop on his punches, especially with jabs, than Tarver. He mixed up his body and head work well and showed his usual defensive savvy most of the time.

But even though he looks like he could fight all night, Dawson took some rounds off when he seemed tired. He also didn't show much sense for when to go for the kill on occasions when he stunned Tarver, and on the rare times he came out of his defensive shell, he got tagged by some pretty good shots by an older, slower foe.

The HBO crew (and Emanuel Steward in particular) did a nice job framing Dawson's performance in the context of a more determined effort by Tarver. And admittedly, no one except the Magic Man and his crew had any doubts that Chad won the fight.

Still, the questions are valid. Is Dawson really the next big thing, as observers were claiming after the first fight? Or is he, as one of the announcers (I believe Max Kellerman) put it this time, "a B-plus fighter in a C division?"

My brother Uatu text messaged me after the fight with these negatives: fights scared, lacks some power, lacks chin and stamina. It's hard to argue with those, though Dawson is only 26 and has time to improve.

The lack of KO power and a killer instinct are what worry me the most. Add in that Dawson is soft-spoken, isn't a self-promoter and doesn't have an especially compelling personal story and there's a lot of work left to be done to turn him into a big star.


I almost feel bad for talking about Roy Jones Jr. and his desire to fight MMA champ Anderson Silva, because now Roy's quest to cross-pollinate the sports has become the story that wouldn't die.

First he tried to get Silva, then Nick Diaz in the boxing ring. Since that hasn't worked, he's now trying - apparently with a straight face - to take one of them on in a cage.

Dana White said no, probably with an f-bomb added for emphasis, and Strikeforce, perhaps remembering what happened to EliteXC when it went the circus route (ahem, Kimbo Slice), also seems uninterested.

Given how he's pressed the issue so far, though, we probably haven't heard the last of this. And people are still writing about Jones, debating the merits of seeing him in an MMA-style bout.

Roy is a grown man and it's not for me to tell him how to make money. If he wants to continue to try to lure someone into a boxing match, I can understand it. Depending on who it is, I may even pay to watch it.

Doing it the other way is just a bad idea, plain and simple. Either the rules will have to be changed to make it a kickboxing match - which strikes me as somewhat pointless - or Jones will be done as soon as he gets taken to the ground.

There's a good chance both boxing and MMA could come out looking foolish, and that's not something I'd care to see happen.

Posted by The Franchise

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