It seemed somehow different on Saturday when Chad Dawson used the phrase after he “fought his fight,” to his first career loss. Jean Pascal is a good fighter and it’s normally an unhelpful modern boxing phenomenon to overeact to one loss, but wasn’t there something fundamentally revealing about Chad Dawson – pound-for-pound contender – on Saturday night?
I joked earlier about Dawson’s non-personality, and I sometimes call him the first comatose titlist in boxing history, but didn’t it feel like that? That’s your title, Chad, don’t give it away.
I had the fight 106-103 Pascal when it was stopped on that gruesome cut. Pascal is a good fighter, though a bit of a spazz. He's not particularly fun to watch and I don't think he'll hang on to that championship long. Bernard Hopkins uses a similar move and lunge technique and it has gotten him far, but I don't think Pascal has the same type of evil intellect to keep it going too long.
Dawson had Pascal dinged at the end, but did you really feel he was going to stop him? I’m thinking here of Chavez chasing down Taylor, Israel Vazquez hammering at Rafael Marquez, or hell, even Librado Andrade flattening Lucian Bute…
Dawson doesn’t have that, or at least didn’t on Saturday night. Which is not to say that he can’t one day become everything he’s capable of, a tremendous champion with a long string of defenses. But it’s hard to imagine he’ll ever be a moving champion, it’s hard to imagine he’ll ever inspire passion. It's entirely explicable that he has zero fans.
Because he only wants to “fight his fight,” and sometimes you have to do more. You have to go where it’s uncomfortable and push. You think the other guy is head butting you? Fine, hit him low. You think the crowd is against you? Send a straight left right through the guys mandible and shut them up.
I say this not as a judgment of his character – because I know I have more Dawson in me than I do Erik Morales – I just think it’s the truth. It’s some of the same frustration I feel when watching Joshua Clottey fight. I feel a little frustrated, but more than that I just feel tired and uninspired.
Boxing is about pushing beyond the possible, Dawson hasn’t even pushed up against it.