Bad Chad Dawson Set to Face Vitor Belfort in Ring Return
After two years out of the ring, former light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (36-5, 19 KO’s) is set to answer the call of duty anew. When he does so, Dawson will face the challenge of former MMA champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (1-0, 1 KO) on February 22 in a cruiserweight showdown. The action will be televised live on a Triller fight card.
Yet, this selection of opponents helps to illustrate how far from grace that Bad Chad, 39, has fallen. At one point in his career, the versatile, heavy-handed southpaw was one of the premiere talents in the sport. In fact, former cash cow Floyd “Money” Mayweather was known to say that Dawson was in line to be the next superstar fighter in boxing.
Despite his technical decision loss to Jean Pascal, chaos did not truly descend upon his career until Dawson chose to fight Andre Ward. At the time, Ward was the WBA super and WBC super middleweight champion and Dawson volunteered to compete in Ward’s division. Once Bad Chad entered the ring, his career would never rebound.
A MIGHTY PLUMMET
Sealed in the ring with Ward, Dawson was dropped three times en route to a demoralizing tenth round stoppage. He would remain idle for nine months following the defeat. When Bad Chad did return to defend his WBC lightweight heavyweight title, against Adonis Stevenson, things went from bad to worse. Clearly fighting with a chip on his shoulder, Dawson went straight at the destructive puncher and paid the price.
In the very first round, Dawson was floored and reduced to a stumbling Bourbon Street drunk with one of Stevenson’s infamous left hands. The dustup with Stevenson took place on June 8, 2013. In the nearly ten years since that date, Dawson has never beaten another meaningful opponent. He did manage to suffer an upset loss to Tommy Karpency on October 14, 2014. Since 2014, Bad Chad has only fought obscure, unimpressive opposition and picked up several gaps of inactivity. It will be revealing to see what the aging fighter has left in the tank at this late date.
When last in the ring, Vitor Belfort stopped elderly boxing legend Evander Holyfield in the first round. Holyfield had stepped in as a late replacement for Oscar De La Hoya, who had withdrawn from the bout due to contracting the COVID virus. Many questioned why the senior Holyfield was even being allowed to compete. Regardless of the pleas for his safety, Holyfield was permitted to fight and nearly immediately was snuffed in the ring. Now Belfort is looking to capitalize off that rather sleazy victory. Let’s see how it all plays out in the squared-circle.
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By: Bakari Simpson