Superb Ward stops Dawson
Andre Ward knocked down Chad Dawson three times and stopped him in the tenth round in Oakland, California, on Saturday night.
Ward retained his WBC and WBA super-middleweight titles and improved his professional record to 26-0, including 14 knockouts.
Dawson, whose record dropped to 31-2; 17, was knocked down late in the third round and early in the fourth as Ward took control before finishing off his opponent with a combination at 2:45 of the tenth.
Dawson, the WBC light-heavyweight champion, moved down a division to take on Ward. He was also willing to in Ward's hometown of Oakland, where an enthusiastic crowd had previously cheered Ward to four wins.
But Dawson proved to be no match for Ward, who punished the challenger repeatedly with his strong left hand.
Chosen as fighter of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America last year, Ward ran through a strong field in the Super Six super-middleweight tournament, capping it with a decision over Carl Froch in December to become the undisputed champion of the division.
Ward is the last American to win an Olympic gold medal, doing it in Athens in 2004.
He is now widely considered one of the best fighters, pound-for-pound, in the world. He showed why against Dawson in producing one of his most impressive performances.
Both fighters are supremely talented, but they are not known for knockouts or showy fights. Dawson's last knockout was in 2007 and Ward had not had one since beating Shelby Pudwill in 2009.
Dawson was cut over his right eye in the second round and things really heated up in the third, with both fighters opening up.
In the final minute of the round, Ward floored Dawson with a hard left hand. Dawson staggered around to finish the round and then got knocked down again by a left hook early in the fourth, to the delight of the fans who were pleading for a knockout.
Ward was in control the rest of the way, landing 155 power punches to just 29 for Dawson, according to Compubox. He finished Dawson off with a vicious combination in the tenth round.
On the same card, WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) of Mexico beat John Molina Jr (24-2, 19 KOs) by technical knockout in the first round.
ADAMEK GETS UP TO WIN
In Neward, New Jersey, Tomasz Adamek recovered from a second-round knockdown to defeat Travis Walker in a heavyweight bout.
Adamek, who was born in Poland, stopped Walker in the fifth round to take his professional record to 47-2, with 28 knockouts.
Walker, whose record dropped to 39-8-1; 31, sent the former light-heaavyweight champion to the floor in the second round but was also knocked down before the end of the round as Adamek recovered to turn the tables.
"I heard Travis wants to knock me out," the 35-year-old Adamek said at the prefight press conference. "It is the only way he can beat me."
Walker, 33, tried, but just did not do enough.
REUTERS reports that it was Ward's first stoppage win in three years, and the champion said the quality of his opponent had caused him to raise his game.
"All we did was eat, sleep and drink this guy, because you can't take a chance on someone like Chad Dawson," he said. "He's beaten future Hall-of-Famers."
Dawson, whose most recent win was over veteran Bernard Hopkins, said he would be returning to the light-heavyweight division.
"I'm not going to hang my head low. I'm still light-heavyweight champion of the world," he said.
However, Ward may have eyes on that title, too. "A move to light-heavyweight is not out of the question," he said.