Chad Dawson is the type of fighter that can drive you crazy at times. The southpaw has many gifts in the ring and when he is in his element he is a pleasure to watch. A poised attack, stealth-like jab, and stinging combinations define Dawson when he is at his best but far too often in recent fights we have seen the passive side of the 28-year old come to the surface. That was the case tonight for Dawson as he matched his skills against WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and it unfortunately it cost him his first loss as a professional tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Pascal would win a technical decision over Dawson in an interesting clash that went to the scorecards after Chad suffered a nasty gash above his right eye after taking a clean Pascal head butt. Scores of 108-101, and 106-103 twice went the Haitian-Canadian fighter’s way as he cleared the way for an attractive meeting with IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute.
Dawson was confident heading into the fight, claiming he could match Pascal in all areas in terms of skill, but seemed to have trouble with the 27-year old’s juke-and-jive attack early on. Pascal’s unorthodox approach was fueled by lead right hands and the ability to remain elusive while Dawson seemed a few steps behind pace.
Dawson would eventually settle down and began to turn the tide as the rounds went by but he simply didn’t seize the initiative. Neither fighter dominated the action but it was Pascal who seemed to dig down just a little bit more at times and being the hometown fighter he was able to get the crowd behind him with every volley he through.
As the championship rounds approached Dawson seemed to be in need of a stoppage to secure his undefeated record and to his credit he did begin to show some tenacity, especially in the 11th round when he tagged Pascal at will. Dawson was bludgeoning Pascal on the ropes in this particular stanza but moments later he would suffer a cut after absorbing a head butt from Jean. Leaking blood, Dawson was in no shape to continue and the fight was called off. Moments later Pascal was declared the winner and burst into celebration.
There is a reported rematch clause in the contract but Pascal has an option for a one fight before following through. That showcase will likely be an intriguing meeting with Bute that will be sure to create great fanfare in Canada. For his part, Dawson claimed that he was fighting his fight throughout and that he will be eyeing a rematch. It was a bitter loss to swallow but he wasn’t blown out on this night and still has time to make some more noise before his career is up. Dawson trained for the contest in various gyms in Las Vegas and will likely be heading back to Nevada for his next camp to trainer under Eddie Mustafa Muhammad’s watchful eye.
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]