Chad Dawson

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Chad Dawson
Dawson Harding136.jpg
Dawson (right) vs. Harding, 2006
Nickname(s) Bad
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Reach 76 12 in (194 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1982-07-13) July 13, 1982 (age 36)
Hartsville, South Carolina, U.S.
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 41
Wins 34
Wins by KO 19
Losses 5
No contests 2

Chad Dawson (born July 13, 1982) is an American professional boxer. He has held multiple world championships at light heavyweight, and was one of the most highly regarded boxers in that division from 2006 to 2013. Dawson rose to prominence on the world stage in 2007, when he defeated Tomasz Adamek to win the WBC title. After vacating that title, he defeated Antonio Tarver in 2008 to win the IBF and IBO titles. Dawson's first career loss was to Jean Pascal in 2010, after which he would win the WBC title for a second time, as well as the Ring magazine and lineal titles, by defeating Bernard Hopkins in 2012. In the same year, The Ring ranked Dawson as the world's tenth best active boxer, pound for pound.[1]

Later in 2012, Dawson moved down to super middleweight, a division where he had not competed since 2006, in order to challenge Andre Ward for the unified WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring, and lineal titles. In what would prove to be an ill-fated move, Ward handed him his second loss as it became clear that Dawson could no longer compete at a lower weight. In 2013, having returned to light heavyweight to defend his titles, Dawson was knocked out by Adonis Stevenson in one round.

Early life[edit]

Dawson was born to Rick Dawson, a former boxer who compiled a 2–6–1 professional record,[2] and Wanda Dawson. Chad has four brothers and two sisters. In search of work, Rick moved the family to New Haven, Connecticut in 1988.[3] Chad attended James Hillhouse High School from 1996 to 2000.

Professional career[edit]


Dawson, a southpaw, made his professional debut at middleweight, later moving up to super middleweight where defeated notable opponents such as Ian Gardner and Carl Daniels. His career took a temporary setback when he failed a post-fight drug test in 2004 for marijuana, which resulted in a six-month suspension from boxing. Dawson indicated that this proved to be a motivating factor in his rise as a light heavyweight.[4] Because of this, Dawson's streak of fourteen consecutive wins came to end when his win over Aundalen Sloan on March 27, 2004 was changed to a no contest.[5]

Light heavyweight[edit]

On June 2, 2006, in his bout with former title challenger and fellow southpaw Eric Harding, Dawson won a unanimous decision and claimed the regional NABF light heavyweight title. After suffering a flash knockdown in the opening seconds of the first round, Dawson dominated the fight and pulled away on the judges' scorecards by 117-110, 117-110, and 116-111.[6]

WBC champion[edit]

At age 24, on February 3, 2007, Dawson won the WBC light heavyweight title against the undefeated, top-ten ranked champion Tomasz Adamek. The judges gave Dawson a unanimous decision victory, with scores of 118-108, 117-109, and 116-110.[7] In June 2007, Dawson defended the WBC title for the first time, in a fight with Jesus Ruiz (19-5-0), winning by technical knockout in round six. The fight was broadcast on Showtime as part of a card that featured former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver. On September 29, 2007, Dawson defeated Epifanio Mendoza by fourth-round TKO in his second title defense. In April 2008 as his third title defense, Dawson retained the belt by a controversial unanimous decision victory against challenger Glen Johnson. The three judges each had the fight scored 116-112 in favor of the champion Dawson.[8] Again aired on Showtime, for Dawson the card marked the second occasion for which he and Tarver fought in separate bouts on the same card, with Tarver winning each featured bout.[9]

Dawson then vacated the WBC title in mid-2008.

Dawson, who is married and has three sons,[10] still lives and trains in New Haven, Connecticut. His trainer is "Iceman" John Scully.[11] He was formerly trained by Dan Birmingham, Floyd Mayweather, Sr. and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

On October 11, 2008, at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Dawson fought IBF light heavyweight title holder Antonio Tarver. Dawson, who controlled the pace and landed most of the significant punches for a majority of the fight, was more active in methodically wearing out his opponent. Tarver landed the occasional punch, but Dawson was in control for most of the fight. With 2:11 left in the final round, Dawson scored a knockdown against Tarver, the only knockdown in the fight. Dawson won the fight by unanimous decision with scores of 117–110 from two judges and 118–109 from the third judge.[12]

On November 9, the day after Joe Calzaghe's win over Roy Jones, Jr., Dawson issued a press release challenging Calzaghe and offered to fight him on his home turf in Wales. Dawson stated "I'm ready to give Joe the opportunity to draw the curtain on his great career in front of his family and friends and 70,000 fans," and "It's the best fight in the light heavyweight division between two undefeated champions." Calzaghe was to retire weeks later, as had been expected prior to the Jones Jr bout. Dawson himself was complimentary about the departing Welsh champion, stating "I applaud Joe's decision. It's obvious he and his family gave it a lot of thought. Timing is everything, and to leave center stage at his peak is rare and certainly comparable to the retirements of Rocky Marciano and Jim Brown."[13]

Seven months after their first fight, Dawson and Tarver fought a rematch on May 9, 2009 in Las Vegas. The fight was similar to their first, with Dawson in control most of the fight, outworking Tarver much of the fight, and earning another unanimous decision win. The judges scorecards were 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112, all in favor of Dawson.

On May 27, 2009, Dawson vacated the IBF light heavyweight title to negotiate a rematch with Glen Johnson.[14] On November 7, 2009 Dawson once again outpointed Glen Johnson. This time was more convincing but the judges scored it 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 all for Dawson.[15]

First defeat against Pascal[edit]

The next step in Dawson's career was a shot to regain the WBC title against Top 10 light heavyweight Jean Pascal on August 14, 2010 in Montreal and was for The Ring light heavyweight title.[16] Pascal won the fight by technical decision in round 11 after an accidental head butt. All three judges had Pascal winning by a considerably wide margin at the time of the stoppage.

Dawson returned to action on May 21, 2011 against Adrian Diaconu and defeated Diaconu by unanimous decision. His first bout under the guidance of Emanuel Steward.

Dawson vs. Hopkins I, II[edit]

Dawson initially won The Ring, WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles due to a controversial TKO win, when Hopkins was unable to continue after getting thrown from a clinch.[17] However, on October 20, 2011, the TKO ruling was ruled a Technical Draw by the WBC and Hopkins remained the champion.[18] On December 13, 2011, the California State Athletic Commission changed the official decision to a No Contest (NC). Two days later, the WBC ordered a rematch between Hopkins and Dawson.

Dawson and Bernard Hopkins met again on April 28, 2012 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.[19] The fight was slow-paced, with Dawson controlling most of the action and pace of the fight. Hopkins would throw and land an occasional punch, but Dawson would land the harder and more effective punches and outwork Hopkins for much of the fight. Noteworthy to mention is a period after a middle round where his trainer, former contender Iceman John Scully, caught Dawson mentally slipping and motivated him back into focus. The key moment in the fight was noted during the broadcast by HBO's Emanuel Steward and Jim Lampley. Dawson went on to win the fight by majority decision, with the judges scorecards reading 114-114, 117-111 and 117-111.

Compubox had Dawson outlanding Hopkins throughout the fight. Dawson landed 151 of 431 (35%) of his total punches, to Hopkins' landing 106 of 400 (26%) of his. Dawson said after the fight he's very interested in fighting WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as well as fighting in a rematch with Jean Pascal.

Dawson vs. Ward[edit]

On September 8, 2012, Dawson stepped down a weight division (a rarity in the sport) to take on WBA, WBC, The Ring and lineal super middleweight champion, Super Six World Boxing Classic winner and one of the universally recognized top pound-for-pound fighters in the world Andre Ward.

Reports surfaced that Dawson was knocked out by Edison Miranda in sparring for the Ward fight.[20] The fight started quite cagey with both fighters feeling each other out and only exchanging single shots, with Dawson landing his jab on Ward comfortably. In the 3rd round, a clash of heads changed the entire landscape of the fight in Ward's favour, as he seemed to have found out his opponent and proceeded to catch Dawson with some telling shots, dropping him to one knee with a right to the body and short overhand left hook. Dawson quickly rose to an 8-count and appeared to be dazed but managed to see out the round and return to his corner. In round 4, Ward showed no sign of letting up, upping the tempo and again catching a sluggish Dawson with a close left hook, again causing him to drop to his knee and the ref gave Dawson another 8 count. Dawson showed great resilience to see out the round and went on for the next 4 rounds avoiding Wards' troublesome left hooks with little activity himself. In round 10, it all came to an end as Dawson looked to have tired from Wards' consistent battery and possibly because of the weight loss also, he was caught flush with 4 shots in a row appearing to voluntarily take a knee. The referee stepped in asking Dawson if he wanted the fight stopped, Dawson did not speak but had the body language of a defeated man. The fight was called off and Ward retained his titles.

Dawson vs. Stevenson[edit]

On June 8, 2013, after his loss to Ward, Dawson returned to light heavyweight and defended his WBC, lineal, and The Ring titles against Haitian-Canadian Adonis Stevenson, a super middleweight contender who was fighting his first match at light heavyweight. The fight took place in Montreal, Stevenson's adopted hometown and where Dawson was fighting for the third time in the past two years.

Although Dawson entered the fight as a favorite, many were worried that draining himself to fight Ward, and the Ward fight itself had taken something from Dawson. Early in the fight he was caught with a hard left hook and fell backwards to the canvas. Although he got up from the punch and rose before the count of eight, the referee noticed that Dawson's legs were unsteady and stopped the fight at 1:11 of the first round despite the protests of Dawson and his trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. It was the first time in Dawson's career that he had been knocked out in the first round.

Return to the ring[edit]

After taking the rest of 2013 off Dawson accepted a fight with journeyman George Blades, which was televised as part of the preliminary bout undercard of a Showtime event on June 14, 2014. The fight was fought in the cruiserweight division, at a catchweight of 179 pounds. Dawson failed to make weight for the contest, weighing in at 182.8 pounds, and thus had to forfeit one-fifth of his $15,000 purse.

Dawson knocked Blades out in the first round after dropping him twice. After the fight he said he wanted to start competing for a world title again and would be fighting at light heavyweight.

However Dawson's career took another hit when on October 4, 2014, he lost a split decision to Tommy Karpency. Dawson looked listless in the fight, displaying little of his once vaunted athleticism. After the fight Dawson maintained that he injured his left hand in the third round, stating that it prevented him from throwing combinations.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
41 fights 34 wins 5 losses
By knockout 19 3
By decision 15 2
No contests 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
41 Loss 34–5 (2) Poland Andrzej Fonfara TKO 10 (10), 0:38 Mar 4, 2017 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.
40 Win 34–4 (2) United States Cornelius White TKO 4 (10), 2:26 Apr 16, 2016 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
39 Win 33–4 (2) United States Shujaa El Amin UD 10 Dec 8, 2015 United States Sun National Bank Center, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
38 Loss 32–4 (2) United States Tommy Karpency SD 10 Oct 4, 2014 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
37 Win 32–3 (2) United States George Blades KO 1 (10), 2:35 Jun 21, 2014 United States StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S.
36 Loss 31–3 (2) Canada Adonis Stevenson TKO 1 (12), 1:16 Jun 8, 2013 Canada Centre Bell, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lost WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles
35 Loss 31–2 (2) United States Andre Ward TKO 10 (12), 2:45 Sep 8, 2012 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. For WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring, and lineal super middleweight titles
34 Win 31–1 (2) United States Bernard Hopkins MD 12 Apr 28, 2012 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles
33 NC 30–1 (2) United States Bernard Hopkins TKO 2 (12), 2:48 Oct 15, 2011 United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. For WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles;
Originally a TKO win for Dawson, later ruled an NC after an incorrect referee call
32 Win 30–1 (1) Romania Adrian Diaconu UD 12 May 21, 2011 Canada Centre Bell, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
31 Loss 29–1 (1) Canada Jean Pascal TD 11 (12), 2:06 Aug 14, 2010 Canada Centre Bell, Montreal, Quebec, Canada For WBC, vacant The Ring and lineal light heavyweight titles;
Unanimous TD after Dawson was cut from an accidental head clash
30 Win 29–0 (1) Jamaica Glen Johnson UD 12 Nov 7, 2009 United States XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S. Won vacant WBC interim light heavyweight title
29 Win 28–0 (1) United States Antonio Tarver UD 12 May 9, 2009 United States The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF light heavyweight title
28 Win 27–0 (1) United States Antonio Tarver UD 12 Oct 11, 2008 United States Pearl Concert Theater, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won IBF and IBO light heavyweight titles
27 Win 26–0 (1) Jamaica Glen Johnson UD 12 Apr 12, 2008 United States St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida, U.S. Retained WBC light heavyweight title
26 Win 25–0 (1) Colombia Epifanio Mendoza TKO 4 (12), 2:30 Sep 29, 2007 United States ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, U.S. Retained WBC light heavyweight title
25 Win 24–0 (1) Mexico Jesus Ruiz TKO 6 (12), 2:00 Jun 9, 2007 United States Convention Center, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBC light heavyweight title
24 Win 23–0 (1) Poland Tomasz Adamek UD 12 Feb 3, 2007 United States Silver Spurs Arena, Kissimmee, Florida, U.S. Won WBC light heavyweight title
23 Win 22–0 (1) United States Eric Harding UD 12 Jun 2, 2006 United States Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California, U.S. Won NABF light heavyweight title
22 Win 21–0 (1) United Kingdom Jamie Hearn TKO 3 (8), 2:07 Mar 4, 2006 United Kingdom MEN Arena, Manchester, England
21 Win 20–0 (1) Canada Jason Naugler UD 8 Feb 4, 2006 United States Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas, U.S.
20 Win 19–0 (1) Canada Ian Gardner TKO 11 (12), 1:12 Nov 18, 2005 United States Athletic Center, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. Won vacant WBONABO super middleweight title
19 Win 18–0 (1) United States Ronald Boddie TKO 3 (8) Aug 6, 2005 United States St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
18 Win 17–0 (1) United States Efrain Garcia RTD 4 (10), 3:00 Apr 1, 2005 United States City Wide Fieldhouse, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBC Youth middleweight title
17 Win 16–0 (1) United States Carl Daniels TKO 7 (10), 3:00 Dec 10, 2004 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBC Youth middleweight title
16 Win 15–0 (1) United States Darnell Wilson UD 10 Oct 29, 2004 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBC Youth middleweight title
15 NC 14–0 (1) United States Aundalen Sloan UD 6 Mar 27, 2004 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Originally a UD win for Dawson, later ruled an NC after he failed a drug test
14 Win 14–0 United States Dumont Welliver RTD 8 (10), 3:00 Oct 31, 2003 United States Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S. Won vacant WBC Youth middleweight title
13 Win 13–0 United States Brett Lally TKO 4 (8) Aug 1, 2003 United States Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Earl Allen TKO 3 (6), 2:59 May 2, 2003 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Willie Lee KO 3 (6), 2:38 Mar 21, 2003 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Shannon Miller UD 6 Feb 1, 2003 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Costa Rica John Romans William TKO 4 (6) Oct 25, 2002 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Colombia Faustino Gonzalez UD 6 Aug 3, 2002 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Jamaica Gary Grant TKO 1 (4), 1:36 May 18, 2002 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Canada Chad Sawyer UD 4 Apr 27, 2002 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Canada Martin Desjardins UD 4 Mar 1, 2002 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Jerald Lowe TKO 1 (4), 2:56 Feb 16, 2002 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States James Orso KO 1 (4), 1:58 Dec 13, 2001 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Antonio Baker KO 1 (4), 0:43 Sep 21, 2001 United States Rhodes-on-the Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Steve Garrett TKO 2 (4), 1:46 Aug 18, 2001 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S. Professional debut

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  2. ^ "Rick Dawson - Boxer". Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Dawson determined to improve on dad's footsteps - boxing - ESPN". 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Interview: Bad Chad Dawson goes back to school". 2005-03-28. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  5. ^ "BoxRec Boxing Records". 2004-03-27. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  6. ^ "BoxRec Boxing Records". 2006-06-02. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  7. ^ "BoxRec Boxing Records". 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  8. ^ "BoxRec Boxing Records". 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  9. ^ "Dawson vacates 175-pound title to gird for possible showdown with Tarver - boxing - ESPN". 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  10. ^ "Chad Dawson looks to stand out April 12th | Chris Robinson". Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Antonio Tarver vs Chad Dawson". Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Chad Dawson, Jermain Taylor not bitter about Calzaghe's retirement - ESPN". Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  14. ^ Rafael, Dan (2009-05-27). "Dawson vacates title". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  15. ^ "Dawson Outpoints Johnson Again". BoxingNews365. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  16. ^ Vester, Mark (August 14, 2010). "Jean Pascal Upsets Chad Dawson, Unifies WBC/IBO Title". Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chad Dawson - Boxer". Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  18. ^ "WBC declares Hopkins vs. Dawson a Technical Draw; Hopkins remains champion". 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  20. ^ Retrieved 2016-01-05.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Stephan Trabant
WBC Youth middleweight champion
October 31, 2003 – August 2005
Title next held by
Grzegorz Proksa
Title last held by
Librado Andrade
super middleweight champion

November 18, 2005 – February 2006
Title next held by
Jean Pascal
Preceded by
Eric Harding
NABF light heavyweight champion
June 2, 2006 – February 2007
Title next held by
Chris Henry
Minor world boxing titles
Preceded by
Antonio Tarver
IBO light heavyweight champion
October 11, 2008 – August 14, 2010
Succeeded by
Jean Pascal
Major world boxing titles
Preceded by
Tomasz Adamek
WBC light heavyweight champion
February 3, 2007 – July 11, 2008
Succeeded by
Adrian Diaconu
promoted from interim status
Preceded by
Antonio Tarver
IBF light heavyweight champion
October 11, 2008 – May 27, 2009
Title next held by
Tavoris Cloud
Title last held by
Adrian Diaconu
WBC light heavyweight champion
Interim title

November 7, 2009 – August 14, 2010
Lost bid for full title
Title next held by
Oleksandr Gvozdyk
Preceded by
Bernard Hopkins
WBC light heavyweight champion
April 29, 2012 – June 8, 2013
Succeeded by
Adonis Stevenson
The Ring light heavyweight champion
April 29, 2012 – June 8, 2013
Lineal light heavyweight champion
April 29, 2012 – June 8, 2013