It would be remiss of me to overlook the timeless performances of Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley in recent months before deploring the matchmakers and executives who compiled and approved the Chad Dawson v Antonio Tarver sequel. Perhaps Tarver’s sojourn to the Rocky Balboa film set has infected the romantics among the powerbrokers, who refuse to give up on Tarver despite Dawson’s complete domination of the ageing former champion last year. A Dawson hand injury postpones Tarver’s second portrayal of a man with a white chalk line around his youth.
The rematch is mandated by contracts from their opening exchange that saw the 26 year old Dawson emerge from the shadows of Tarver, Jones and Johnson to stamp a degree of authority on the division. With Calzaghe departed for the long grass of South Wales the 175 weight class yearns for a new king and Dawson appears to have strong claim to that title.
Fast, tall, mobile and skilful with victories over Johnson, Tarver and Adamek already in place he strikes me as the kind of fighter HBO should be throwing their weight behind, as the American public ache for exposure to a new generation of talent. The network giant has bemused many with its fixation with an ageing chorus line and though Dawson v Tarver II, unless infinitely more competitive than the first bout, will do little to add to Dawson’s acclaim it should hopefuly provideHBO with the foundation to build Dawson up as a star in his own right. A parade of fallen greats will not awaken the generation focussing on UFC.
Thomas Hauser tells that story best however, so I’ll refrain.
I hope Dawson is fit to expel Tarver from headline action soon and move on to what would presumably be clash with Bernard Hopkins later this year; which though directly contradicting my preference for Dawson to fight younger, hungrier opponents is the obvious crossroads fight for the division and American boxing.