Andre Ward, boxing’s most classy champion, put on an admirable display of power and skill Saturday night, dominating light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, who told the referee he had enough at 2:45 of the 10th round.
Fighting before his hometown crowd in Oakland, Calif., Ward – usually a very tactical, patient fighter – attacked Dawson and inflicted punishment most every round, especially with a powerful left-hand cross.
Ward decked Dawson (31-2) three times before the TKO in the 10th to retain his WBA and WBC super middleweight championships. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist remains undefeated in his entire boxing career. He’s 26-0 since turning pro and did not lost a bout as an amateur.
Ward knocked down Dawson late in the third round and early in the fourth to take control of the fight and finished him off with a combination at 2:45 of the 10th.
Dawson moved down a weight class from 175 pounds to 168 to take on Ward. He said afterward that he was surprised by Ward’s speed and power. “I can’t take anything away from him,” Dawson said.
Ward, the reigning fighter of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, ran through a strong field in the Super Six super middleweight tournament, capping it with a decision over Carl Froch in December that made him the undisputed champion of the weight class.
But what he did in dismantling Dawson was his most impressive performance yet. Even though he has 17 career knockouts in 26 fights, Ward usually approaches matches with caution and methodically. But he was far more aggressive against Dawaon.
“To beat a fighter of (Dawson’s) caliber, you have to take chances,” Ward said after the bout.
According to Compubox, Ward landed 155 power punches to just 29 for Dawson. He finished Dawson off with a vicious combination in the 10th round.