Ward will put his world championship belts on the line against Dawson (Photo courtesy of HBO Boxing).
World Champions Collide this Saturday in Oakland
WBA (Super), WBC and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight Champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) will be putting his belts on the line this Saturday, facing fellow world titleholder Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) in Oakland. The bout, which will air live via HBO Boxing, marks the return of the 2011 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, who last fought in December when he defeated Carl Froch in Atlantic City to win the Super Six Boxing Classic.
“It’s a long, brutal camp, physically and mentally,” Ward said of his training for the fight. “It’s a lot of sacrifice, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’re putting in the work, and I’m looking forward to getting my hand raised on September 8th.”
Acknowledged to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, Ward is undefeated in his seven-plus year professional career. The California native was also a highly accomplishment amateur boxer, and he remains the last U.S. Olympian in his sport to bring home the Gold Medal, a feat he accomplished in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Ward now faces a talented and skillful south paw in Dawson, who last fought in April when he claimed the WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Belts by scoring a unanimous decision victory over the ageless Bernard Hopkins. Preparing for a tall, rangy south paw like Dawson is a difficult task for any fighter, as is finding suitable sparring partners to match the tools that he possesses. Someone who joined Ward at his camp in Big Bear, California, to help in that area was undefeated New Jersey native Derrick “Take It To The Bank” Webster (13-0, 7 KOs), a 6-4 south paw who spent five weeks on the West Coast with him.
“This is boxing, and I’m not going to find anybody who’s exactly like Chad, and I know he’s not going to find anybody like me,” Ward stated. “You do the best you can to get the height, get the range and get somebody in the ballpark. Derrick has his own style, and he has plenty of speed and is a great boxer. The most important thing is he has the left-handed stance, the height and the range. That’s what’s important. You’re not going to find anybody who fights exactly like the guy you’re fighting. You just try to do the best you can and come close.”
A second world title will also be on the line this Saturday in Oakland, with Antonio DeMarco defending his WBC Lightweight Championship against John Molina. This card is part of a Saturday doubleheader for HBO Boxing, which will broadcast a heavyweight pairing between WBC World Champion Vitali Klitschko and Manuel Charr live from Moscow during the afternoon.