This month former IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-3, 17 KO’s) will be back in the ring to fight 39-year-old George Blades (23-5, 16 KO’s) on June 21st on the undercard of the Robert Guerrero vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai card at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
For 32-year-old Dawson, this is an important fight because it’ll give him and boxing fans a good idea of how much he has left in the tank after having been out of the ring for an entire years since his knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson in June of last year. Dawson has been resting up after that embarrassing loss, which for him was his second consecutive knockout defeat. His defeat before that one was to Andre Ward.
Dawson went from being the best fighter in the light heavyweight division following his 12 round majority decision win over Bernard Hopkins in April 2012 to a guy that many fans saw a shot fighter after his knockout losses to Ward and Stevenson. It’s hard to say whether Dawson’s problems started from him draining down to 168 to challenge Andre Ward at super middleweight or if it was due to the rumors of him having been knocked out during a sparring sessions with Edison Miranda while getting ready for the Ward fight. Who knows? It could be just a case of Dawson getting old over night, no longer having the game that he once did. The late Emanuel Steward noticed in 2011 that Dawson’s legs looked stiff and heavy in his win over Adrian Diaconu. It wasn’t the same Dawson we’d seen earlier in his career when he was quick on his feet in beating guys like Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
In 2010, Dawson was beaten by Jean Pascal by an 11 round technical decision, and ever since that fight, it’s been downhill for Dawson with him looking steadily older and older despite the fact that he was still a young fighter.
Blades hasn’t fought since last year in September in getting stopped in the 5th round by Pascal. Blades also has losses to Zsolt Erdei, Jose Luis Herrera, Nick Cook and Charles Tanner.