Five keys for Daniel Dawson
Plotting a path to victory in Friday's junior middleweight bout with Austin Trout
At 36, former world title challenger Daniel Dawson will look to find his way back to the top of the junior welterweight division Friday.
Dawson (40-3-1, 26 KOs), a native of Perth, Australia, takes on former titlist Austin Trout (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET) at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, in the main event of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights."
After suffering a 10th-round TKO loss against then-titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk in 2009, and losing again in his next bout, Dawson has run off a record of 6-0-1 in his last seven bouts entering Friday.
Should "The Rock" look to score the biggest victory of his career against Trout (26-2, 14 KOs), he should consider these keys to victory:
|Dawson, a former kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion, has built a reputation as an aggressive fighter throughout his career, which includes a competitive decision loss to countryman and former middleweight titlist Daniel Geale in 2007. Attempting to outbox the slick, defensive Trout would likely be futile for Dawson, whose best bet should be turning it into a fight. Trout is an accurate puncher, but not necessarily a heavy one, and Dawson should look to exploit that.
Test him early
|Trout enters the fight fresh off a pair of high-profile defeats in 2013 against Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara. Although he has said the right things leading up to the fight, Trout enters a key juncture as he looks to eliminate any doubt within himself and others with a strong performance. Dawson should test his mental strength right off the start with an aggressive attack that lets Trout know he is in for another tough outing.
Put some money in the bank
|Dawson will be the taller fighter in Friday's matchup. But the Australian clearly does his best work on the inside. By committing to the body early in an attempt to limit Trout's movement as the rounds wear on, Dawson could find himself in position to go for the finish.
Cut off the ring
|Trout is at his best in open space when he can use his footwork and length to set up combinations with his jab before exiting away from any trouble. As part of his reputation as a tricky southpaw, Trout has a tendency to throw hooks from different angles. To limit his success in these areas, Dawson should look to close the distance and remove Trout's ability to avoid confrontation.
Be the spoiler
|Fighting in the U.S. for just the second time in his career, Dawson is facing an uphill challenge against such a skilled former titlist. In fact, Dawson hasn't faced a fighter even close to Trout's class in more than four years. This is a fight meant to showcase what makes Trout so good in an effort to rehab his image after two defeats. Dawson should go for broke and fight with the spirit of a true underdog, leaving nothing to chance.
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