Three big reasons why Ward can get the better of Dawson
Hometown advantage, the benefit of fighting in his regular weight class and ring control are big ticks in the favour of Andre Ward when he faces Chad Dawson in one of the biggest encounters of the year.
This fight is mega because it features two champions at the peak of their powers, with the pair only suffering one defeat between them from a combined 56 bouts.
Ward is the 2/7 favourite to extend his career unbeaten record to 26 fights and can thrive off the crowd in his hometown in Oakland, California.
Not only is Dawson going into the lion’s den, but he is also stepping outside of his normal weight category.
Dawson has been competing at light-heavyweight for much of his career, but will have to cut 7lb here to face Ward at super middleweight.
There are plusses for Dawson, who is 11/4 for victory, because of this as he is potentially the more powerful of the duo and holds a valuable five-inch reach advantage.
This is significant as Dawson prefers to fight on the outside and his footwook gives him a strong chance of staying out of range.
WBA and WBC super middleweight champion Ward prefers to fight up close and the story of the fight is likely to revolve around his success in this department.
However, counting aside Floyd Mayweather, there is arguably nobody better at being a ring general than Ward.
He is able to dictate pace and quickly finalise a gameplan to trump that of an opponent.
Movement and punch accuracy did for Carl Froch, while Sakio Bika was simply bustled onto the ropes.
Dawson has a track record of producing one good round before going into a shell and against Jean Pascal in particular he allowed himself to be dictated.
Nobody has yet been able to dissect Ward and although Dawson has some characteristics that threaten to pose him his biggest problem yet, Ward can still be expected to pull through.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.