Dawson-Johnson II and Valuev-Haye: Predictions

The Franchise says...

Though there's a megafight looming on the horizon next weekend, there's some business to attend to in two different locations this Saturday. First and foremost is a very interesting rematch between Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson in Dawson's Hartford, Connecticut backyard.

You may recall that the first fight was pretty close, and I had to go back and check out my own scorecard to see how the flow of the action unfolded. I actually had it a point closer than the actual judges, even after giving the final three rounds to Johnson, so while I thought (and still believe) that it was a very close call, I don't think the Road Warrior got robbed by any means.

That being said, while I expect this should be a hard-fought rematch with its share of excitement, I don't know that it lends itself to tons of analysis. Both men are known quantities and probably won't abandon the strategies they used the first time, since in a sense, they both worked: Dawson won plenty of rounds with his boxing, while Johnson came forward relentlessly and almost pulled it out in the late rounds.

The main variables this time around are whether the much younger Dawson has learned any new tricks since last time (who knows?) and whether Father Time has finally run down Johnson (I want to say no, but it's certainly possible). Chad did have a scare in the 10th round of the first fight that he'll want to avoid this time out, but he's also probably facing some self-applied pressure to win more convincingly this time, so tactically I'm thinking that's a wash.

Put simply, if Dawson is the pound-for-pound talent we suspect he may be, he should win more rounds in this one, and though you always hate to think this way, fighting in Hartford doesn't figure to hurt his chances. That adds up to Bad Chad by unanimous decision, but likely in more decisive fashion the second time around.

Across the world in Germany, one of the heavyweight titles David Haye has supposedly always wanted a shot at is on the line when he tries to upend the giant Nikolai Valuev. I say supposedly because Haye appeared to have title shots against both Klitschko brothers lined up and ended up fighting neither of them.

It seems strange that facing a 7-footer would be the path of least resistance, yet that's exactly the case here. Valuev can box alright for his size, but he'll never be mistaken for Wladimir or Vitali, and that's bound to be just what Haye and his team are counting on.

Still, there's the size thing. Haye has power, but extending it to hit someone who is nine inches taller... I mean, at some point it just becomes a physics problem, doesn't it?

I'd actually feel safer picking Haye if he was a technician a la Chris Byrd in his prime, so he could just get his shots in and get out of the way. As it is, despite logic suggesting someone is getting knocked out, I have a bad feeling that this is going to be an ugly mess that gets decided on the cards.

Forced to make a pick, I'll say Valuev by decision, meaning the noise coming from Haye will be how he got jobbed. If he wins, it may force one of the Klitschkos to fight him if they want to collect all the belts, and that may be the only way they'll do it after the shenanigans he pulled before.

Posted by The Franchise

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