Boxing: chad dawson

Ward graduates with beat-down of Dawson

September, 9, 2012
Andre Ward, glove and all, reached his mitt down Chad Dawson's throat and yanked out the heart of the Connecticut boxer on Saturday night in Oakland. In a "best vs the best scrap," the 168-pound king invited the 175-pound ace, Dawson, down to his weight class ... and then proceeded to make him wish he pretended the invite blew off his porch.

Yes, let us say that Dawson will not clamor for a return to that neighborhood; the Oakland resident Ward knocked him down in the third, the fourth and the 10th, forcing Dawson to tell the ref that he wanted no mas of Ward's punishment at the Oracle Arena.

Hooks and clean rights hurt Dawson in Round 10 and he took a knee. Ref Steve Smoger walked to him, counting. "One, two, three, four," he said, as he looked into a beaten man's eyes and soul.

"You all right, baby?" Smoger asked, while keeping a count.

"Five, six," Smoger continued.

"I'm finished," Dawson muttered before "seven."

"You done?"

"I'm done," he said.

"Huh?" Smoger asked, looking to confirm with zero doubt. "Stop it? Stop it?"

"Yeah," Dawson said, with a tiny hint of relief, maybe, but mostly with the sad affect of a man who'd been physically bettered.

Smoger waved his left in the air, half the universal symbol of the benevolent intercession. With his right hand, he held Dawson to him, as if to say, No shame, guy, you did your best, you earned your check, I'm not gonna let this beast have at you any more.

Ward is just that, a beast, and that's not a label he's enjoyed on his rise to this peak. Too cerebral, too technical, too much sweet and science, not enough Gatti in him, it was said.


Not anymore, I don't think. Andre Ward graduated from pugilist specialist to "fighter" on this night, and cemented his hold on the No. 2 slot, pound for pound.

Mayweather-Ward, anyone?
It's a pretty easy interview, asking the man who turned 44 on May 6 why he's coming back to the ring, why he can't get boxing out of his bloodstream and focus on a less taxing vocation.

You ask why.

Why, David Telesco, 30-7-1 former light heavyweight contender out of Port Chester, N.Y., why are you back in the ring at the Times Union Center in Albany tonight, fighting 14-1 Vincent Miranda on a card to be featured on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights"?

"It's mind over matter," he told me. "About age, if I don't mind, it don't matter. I live a clean life, and I'm healthier than 20-year-old guys."

Telesco had long-ago trainer Hector Roca check him out in the gym, assess his reflexes, the whole nine, and said the esteemed tutor gave him the go ahead. They last worked together when Telesco was on the way up, a kid in his early 20s. The boxer insists he will again ascend, and tells me after a few fights he believes he can be the best version of himself there ever was.

Chad Dawson (31-1; age 29) who just defeated the sport's most sage pugilist, 47-year-old Bernard Hopkins, a month ago, is in his sights.

"I realized, I'm not getting any younger, let's see how far we can go," Telesco said. "Dawson is 25 minutes from me in Connecticut. What a great show we could put on for the hometown fans, at Foxwoods."

I asked forgiveness, but a most natural question to ask a comebacking fighter is: Are you doing it for the money?

Is he? Telesco said that is not a factor, that he has money saved up from his sanitation gig, a pension, the whole deal.

He last gloved up on Oct. 21, 2009, losing to Byron Mitchell via TKO2. He said that he was still feeling the effects of an on-the-job injury which occurred a year before, when a metal bar off a garbage truck slammed into the back of his head. A neurologist told him someone with a softer head would have died. But Telesco's is hard, and so is his resolve; he said he will now be paying more attention to defense than he did in his heyday.

That recent birthday was a happy occasion, but twinges of what-might-have-been did surface. He did earn a title shot against Roy Jones in 2000, losing a UD12. But once a boxer, always a boxer, for most of the best of them.

"I had a birthday, and sometimes it messes with the mental," he admitted. "But I am living a clean life. Guys in their 20s don't want to train with me. I've changed for the better. To my hometown, I want to say: Get ready, we're going on a ride, one more time."

Shocker! Hopkins semi-silent in NYC

February, 23, 2012
One might've expected he'd come out guns a blazing verbally, use some of that rhetorical magic which makes him the most effective fighter of his era when it comes to talking the talk that will help him walk the walk on fight night. But Bernard Hopkins shocked the room when he swerved us with silence at the NYC press conference to hype Hopkins-Dawson II on Wednesday at Planet Hollywood.

"All has been said," was all Hopkins, age 47, the oldest man to win a true world title, said in NYC after Chad Dawson and his promoter Gary Shaw had their say at the mike.

The mouths of the assembled press hung agape. We expected Hopkins to tear Dawson, who'd just called him a "punk" and Shaw, who'd just about accused the Philly legend of faking a shoulder injury in the October bout which ended in round two, a new one. Shaw had offered his historical take on what went down in October and the aftermath. He and Dawson both said that Dawson was having his way with Hopkins, and when they collided, and Dawson dumped Hopkins onto the canvas, Hopkins took the opportunity to opt out. He told the ref he couldn't continue, and the fight was over, with Dawson declared the winner.

Not so fast...Protests were made, and Hopkins' promoter Golden Boy was able to get the result changed to a No Contest. Thus, Hopkins held onto his light heavyweight crown, and Dawson was left fuming.

One reason we all thought Hopkins would go into blast mode is because he'd taken severe umbrage at the allegations that his shoulder injury was not so severe. When I brought that up to him, he said that those allegations, which Team Dawson, especially trainer John Scully, have been dispensing for months, should be summarily dismissed.

As usual, when pondered, it emerges that Hopkins' choice, not to litigate the shoulder in public, was a smart move. The evidence may not support him as he'd prefer to be supported. The MRIs that Scully has called for haven't surfaced. So, the sage decided to shift the conversation, curtail it rather than prolong it.

And lest you fear that he's lost his edge, and been cowed into a silence, and that perhaps has lost his lust for verbal combat and maybe physical combat as well, fear not. Hopkins spent the next hour in typical form, talking to press in smaller groups, discussing the parts of the October fight he wanted to discuss, and the parts of his career he wanted to play up.

Hopkins-Dawson II will unfold on April 28, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. HBO will televise.

Note: I was talking to Hopkins' publicist and pal, Kelly Swanson, at the end of the affair. I told her that I thought the 29 year-old Dawson was too much physically for the ole man at this point, but if pressed, I'd have to admit, I'm sort of rooting for Hopkins. He motivates and encourages all of us who feature a gray hair or two or two hundred, and he is a fascinating and entertaining character study in how he approaches the mental and psychological side of the sport. But I fear that the age thing might be insurmountable on April 28. We shall see...
Boxing's resident Twitter King Paulie Malignaggi got it done Saturday night at the Staples Center, and lo and behold, was back on the Twitter an hour after he scored a unanimous decision over ultra-game Orlando Lora.

The California resident, who moved from Bensonhurst to the West Coast last year, to rejuvenate his career, posted a pic of himself in the dressing room after he notched his 30th win as a pro.

Malignaggi got buzzed in the first by a clean Lora right hand, but collected himself, and won by scores of 100-90, 99-91, 98-92. His bout opened the pay-per-view broadcast, which was headlined by the abbreviated Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson light heavyweight scrap. That ended in the second round, when Dawson dumped the 46-year-old Hopkins on his back with an NFL-type tackle, and Hopkins complained that his left shoulder was hurt. He grimaced and pointed to the shoulder, and ref Pat Russell took his cue. He ended the bout at 2:48 of the second, but surprised most everyone in the building when he declared that no foul occurred. Therefore, he called for a TKO, and raised Dawson's hand.

The unified rules of the sport address this situation.

1. If an accidental foul causes an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately, the bout will result in a NO DECISION if stopped before four (4) completed rounds. Four (4) rounds are complete when the bell rings signifying the end of the fourth round.

A No Decision seemingly looked like the best call, but Russell had final say. He could have called a foul on Dawson and followed this rule.

1. If an intentional foul causes an injury, and the injury is severe enough to terminate the bout immediately, the boxer causing the injury shall lose by disqualification.

Boxing fans are quite familiar with bizarre endings and discussing what looks and smells like incompetence on the part of officials in the days following marquee events, so they are well acquainted with going to bed shaking their head at the theater of the unexpected.