Boxing pundits started calling on Chad Dawson, the light heavyweight division’s top dog, to move up to heavyweight almost immediately following his rematch victory over Glen Johnson. Heavily favored to beat Jean Pascal in August, clamor is growing for Dawson to climb the ladder in search of more challenges and more exciting fights. As usual, the mainstream boxing pundits are utterly, completely wrong and the best move for Chad Dawson is to stay put.
Dawson is 27 years old with at least three or four more very good years ahead of him. 175 lbs. fighters who move up to heavyweight typically do so as a gimmick against a handpicked fighter (say, Roy Jones). Only Ezzard Charles has ever made a lasting impression through such a move, and that was a different era. I wouldn’t give him good odds against David Haye, and either Klitschko would crush such an under-sized opponent as Dawson. For Dawson to put on all that weight and move up to the ranks of the big men in the prime of his career would be short-sighted in the extreme.
Still, what is there for him to do at 175 lbs. now? Bernard Hopkins will never fight Dawson, and all the other candidates in Proboxing-fans.com’s Top Ten Light Heavyweight Division Rankings are either guys Dawson has defeated, guys those guys defeated, or not very exciting prospects. What’s a talented, pound-for-pound entrant to do?
Wait. If Dawson waits until 2011 and 2012, he will find plenty of big name, high quality opponents coming at him. The Super Six Boxing Tournament will see to that. One of the results of the Super Six will be at least two or three super middleweights standing around with nothing to do and no one to fight in their chosen division. The ultimate victor might stay put on his throne and seek a showdown with Lucian Bute, and one of the others might also fight the Romanian-Canadian.
However, that still leaves at least a couple of fighters with no interesting match-ups that they can win or that could be sold. What will those guys do? Head to 175 lbs. and claim a title. I count on at least Carl Froch to do this in 2011. The problem here for them is that the only big money fight at 175 lbs. includes none other than Chad Dawson as a dance partner.
So, if Dawson bides his time, two or three good fights with well-established opponents will come right to him. In Dawson’s case, a little patience will pay.