20/20 Hindsight: Chad Wins But It's Still Not All Good, Plus David Makes Haye

I think somewhere around the ninth round of the Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson rematch was the first time I heard some scattered boos coming from fans at Hartford's XL Center. That happens sometimes when a fight isn't competitive - and don't be fooled by the close official scores, because this was not a close fight - and there doesn't seem like there's much hope of a late round knockout.

The troublesome part of Saturday's booing is that it was coming from Dawson's home fans. And that's on top of the fact that he wasn't enough of a draw to manage 50 percent capacity in an arena in his home state.

Dawson put on a boxing clinic, making Johnson look old, slow and generally ineffective. His speed and timing left Glen with few answers, and his defense was good enough to keep him out of the trouble he ran into in the 10th round of their previous fight.

But Bad Chad didn't put Johnson in any trouble either, and even though that's a difficult task, it's something he really needed to do to capture fans' imaginations. I can't imagine he got the HBO brass too fired up about his next outing, especially considering the lack of under-40 names in Dawson's weight class.

Don't get me wrong. I think Dawson is an excellent boxer, and though he's not quite at the level of a Floyd Mayweather, he's similarly impressive in the way he operates and makes a difficult sport look effortless.

Floyd can get away with putting on virtuoso performances that don't excite casual fans because of his larger than life persona. Chad can't, and for that reason he seems destined to continue to win in relative obscurity. It's a shame, but unless he gets a brashness transplant or starts spontaneously knocking people out, I'm not sure how that's going to change.

And now for something completely different...

Color me surprised that David Haye was able to lift one of the heavyweight title belts from Nikolai Valuev. Not because I find the Russian Giant particularly impressive (just really big), but because I figured the size differential would be too much for Haye to handle if he decided to slug it out.

Give Haye and his team credit for deducing that hit-and-run was the way to go. Well played.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me, because I usually can't stand athletes of any type who talk trash without backing it up. That means I should dislike Haye, especially after he badmouthed the Klitschko brothers and then mysteriously ended up not fighting either of them.

But for some reason I find Haye compelling, and it probably doesn't hurt that (until this weekend, according to observers) he's fun to watch when he fights. There's really no logical reason Wladimir and Vitali should give him the time of day after what went down over the past year, but he does have a belt, and they seem to be pretty important to the Klitschko brothers, so you never know.

Love him or hate him, you have to say this about Haye: it's hard to see him ever getting booed by his home fans.

Posted by The Franchise

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