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Chad Dawson did himself no favors with his lackluster effort in his loss in Montreal on Saturday in his World Boxing Council light heavyweight title fight with Jean Pascal.
It was clear fairly early in the HBO-televised bout at the Bell Centre that Dawson was the more skillful fighter, but he had nowhere near the passion and fire that Pascal had. Pascal looked like he wanted to win badly; Dawson looked as if he were bored by the proceedings.
Dawson, though, hurt his image far more after the fight than he did during it. He chose to whine about the stoppage on HBO, accusing Pascal incorrectly of illegally butting him all night and intimating he was on the verge of a stoppage.
At the postfight news conference, promoter Gary Shaw and Dawson continued the farce instead of conceding that Dawson had had a bad night. Fans can accept a fighter who has a bad night every now and then. But Dawson came off looking petulant and not like one of the elite fighters in the world.
Larry Merchant, HBO's long-time boxing analyst, made an apt observation when he said during the fight, "If Dawson is one of the best fighters in the world, then I'm Edward R. Murrow." He's ranked sixth or better in every major pound-for-pound ranking, but that's going to last only as long as it takes to do the balloting in September.
With that, let's delve into the boxing mailbag, which we've decided to make an occasional feature instead of a weekly one.
Dawson lacks killer instinct
Fights like Saturday's light heavyweight title fight between Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal are the reason Dawson has no fan base. He had plenty of opportunities to knock Pascal out but lacked the killer instinct to do so. I think he missed a huge opportunity to make a name for himself, and he needs to start realizing there's a reason Pascal sells out arenas while he can't sell more than a few dozen tickets.
Warner Robbins, Ga.
I couldn't agree with you more, Moses. Dawson looked like he was there to collect a paycheck and nothing more. There are plenty of other fighters who show up and put in a full effort every night. Those are the ones who should be rewarded.
Opposition was over the hill
Dawson's competition over the past two years was against Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver. They were both 39 the first time he fought them and both 40 the second time he fought them. People got excited and hyped up Dawson when he beat them, but did anyone actually consider that maybe the only reason he beat them was because they were old fighters?
Both Johnson and Tarver were far from what they once were when they met Dawson, but let's not forget that Dawson is an extremely gifted athlete. He just has to make like Johnson, the highly popular "Road Warrior," and show a little fire from time to time.
American boxers coming up short
This has been the year of the disappointing American fighters. Chad Dawson cheated himself and his fans on Saturday with his uninspired performance against Jean Pascal. He deserved to lose for fighting with no fire. Devon Alexander looked terrible against Andriy Kotelnik. Paul Williams looked poor against Kermit Cintron earlier this year. Robert Guerrero was awful against Joel Casamayor and Timothy Bradley was highly unimpressive against Luis Carlos Abregu.
Joel S. Brunner
Joe, I disagree with the premise that Guerrero looked awful against Casamayor. He dominated the fight and didn't to my eye appear to have any major shortcoming that night. And while I don't think Alexander's performance was the best he is capable of, give the opponent some credit. There are two guys in there fighting. And remember, the guys you are so down on, like Alexander, Williams, Guerrero and Bradley, each won despite not being at their best. That says something about them as competitors. The same can't be said in that regard for Dawson.
Why does Pacquiao get a pass?
I'm not knocking you or the other voters in the Yahoo! Sports boxing poll for being angry at Floyd Mayweather Jr. for not taking the fight against Manny Pacquiao. I'm just trying to figure out how Manny gets a pass? He's a great fighter and exciting to watch, but his last opponent and his next are prep fights. I blame his promoter more than I blame him. Floyd's last two fights were against fighters ranked in the top 5. Not saying that Floyd has been going after the best, but if he were to fight Clottey he would get blasted by the media. If Manny is this fighting champ, then where is the Marquez fight? Where is the Timothy Bradley or Paul Williams fight? I think Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum's excuse was a bad lie. It's all about money and that's why I blame both fighters.
First, Rod, let me say that though I blame Mayweather more than Pacquiao for the fight between the two of them failing to be made, I did vote for Mayweather No. 1. I've felt he would win a fight between the two, and I think he deserves a slight edge in the rankings for that reason. Pacquiao only fought Clottey because it was short notice until the March 13 date planned for the fight after the initial volley of talks to make a Mayweather match fell through. I'm not thrilled with Antonio Margarito as an opponent, though I don't think there are a lot of choices yet. Bradley isn't coming off a sterling performance and Williams is not a ticket draw and he demands a very high purse. In the absence of a Mayweather fight, I believe Pacquiao needs to do what he can to make a third fight with Marquez.
Pacquiao doing some ducking and dodging, too
In your analysis of the August rankings, you said a reason Pacquiao reclaimed the top spot was that his "willingness to fight anyone scores points with voters." After the Clottey fight, five elite fighters called out Pacquiao and he failed to accept any of them. Devon Alexander, Timothy Bradley, Paul Williams, Andre Berto and Juan Manuel Marquez are each willing to fight Manny at welterweight, will be free in November when Manny said he's available to fight, won't object to Pacquiao receiving the larger end of the purse and none have asked for additional drug testing. Yet Pacquiao has chosen to fight Antonio Margarito, an opponent coming off a suspension and a devastating for a belt at super welterweight. Can someone please explain why some view Mayweather as a ducker, while the man everyone calls the pound-for-pound king is blatantly avoiding the best fighters, who are willing to concede damn near everything for a fight with him?
Alexander has never fought at welterweight and Bradley just was so-so in his welterweight debut, so neither would be perceived as a great opponent for Pacquiao at this stage. I agree he could have fought any of the last three you mentioned, Rob, but the fact he's not is more due to promoter Bob Arum than to Pacquiao himself.
Give Manny top billing
Why does the boxing media insist on saying Mayweather-Pacquiao when you know Mayweather is avoiding Pacquiao? Give credit where credit is due and start saying Pacquiao-Mayweather. Put the deserving champion's name in front of a chump's. We all know Mayweather is a chump, so treat him as one.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I've called it Mayweather-Pacquiao because that's what it would have been had the fight gotten done earlier this year. Floyd's not a chump, though he's decidedly in the wrong for not doing everything in his power to make a fight with Pacquiao.
Margarito is disgusting
To hell with Antonio Margarito, I say. It's disgusting that he was caught cheating and still will get a huge pay day. Margarito deserves a big bout about as much as Luis Resto. Why can't Manny show some class and give someone a fight that actually deserves it? I would love to see Manny fight Marcos Rene Maidana.
The differences between Margarito and Resto, Asa, are many. Resto was convicted of a crime for fighting with doctored gloves in a 1983 New York bout against Billy Collins. Margarito was not convicted of a crime against Shane Mosley, when he was caught with a hard object in his hand wraps. Resto fought with the doctored gloves and Margarito did not. Resto eventually admitted he knew the padding was pulled from his gloves by trainer Panama Lewis; Margarito swears up and down that his trainer, Javier Capetillo, was the culprit. I wish he wasn't getting this fight, but this is one case where Manny deserves blame. Arum brought both Miguel Cotto and Margarito to Manny as potential opponents and has said repeatedly on the record that Manny chose Margarito.