Dawson needs knockouts to cross over from successful boxer to star
Check that, Chad Dawson has
At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Dawson is a prototypical light heavyweight. With blazing hand speed, sneaky power and a body that looks like it was carved from granite, Dawson has all the tools to be a star, a once- or twice-in-a-generation fighter who could dominate a division like
So here's the question: Why isn't Chad Dawson more popular?
He's not popular in Las Vegas, where Dawson saw swaths of empty seats for his two fights with
It's simple: Chad Dawson does not look for the knockout.
Run down the list of the most popular fighters.
There are exceptions. Mayweather isn't a power puncher and he might be the biggest draw in the sport. But Mayweather's popularity has been carefully cultivated over the years, a product of HBO's
But it's the power guys who are the big draws. Certainly there is a large cluster of boxing fans who enjoy a good tactical fight, but a majority gravitates toward the fighter who produces the better climax.
Dawson doesn't. It's not that he's light-handed like
Dawson doesn't see anything wrong with that approach.
"I'm just not that type of fighter," Dawson said Thursday in a telephone interview. "I'm not going to change my style for nobody. I want to keep winning."
Winning is good. Winning will keep Dawson's record spotless, his face (relatively) unblemished and an assortment of meaningless title belts around his waist. But it won't make him a star. For that, Dawson needs big knockouts over big competition.
His first chance comes Saturday in Montreal, where he'll bid for
Pascal (25-1) won't be running from Dawson, either. He has pledged to test Dawson's chin and make him fight in the middle of the ring.
That, Dawson says, would be a mistake.
"If he plans on coming in and charging, he falls right into my game plan," Dawson said. "He comes at me like that and I will knock him out."
If he does, it could be the start of an interesting two years for Dawson. The once-barren 175-pound landscape is now ripe with contenders. After wasting years chasing around
But it all starts on Saturday. Put down Pascal and the path to stardom opens up. Don't, and take your chances.