by Kieran Mulvaney
This Saturday, HBO World Championship Boxing features a genuinely marquee matchup when super middleweight champion Andre Ward defends his crown against light heavyweight top dog Chad Dawson in a rare meeting of titlists from the 168 and 175-pound divisions.
One man who has sat on the throne of both weight classes is future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Roy Jones, who is unabashedly enthusiastic about the contest. We asked him a few questions about Saturday night's main event.
What are your thoughts about how Ward and Dawson match up?
I think it’s a wonderful matchup. They’re two great fighters. My hat’s off to Ward for accepting the challenge and to Chad for making the challenge. Chad’s going down in weight to make the fight and then going to Oakland, Ward’s hometown, to fight him. That says a lot about Chad.
Strategically, it’s a great matchup. You’ve got a guy in Chad Dawson, who’s a superstar in the light heavyweight division. You’ve got a guy in Andre Ward who has definitely become the best in the super-middleweight division. You’ve got two guys who are close to one another who are willing to fight each other, and you don’t get that too often.
Is it a disadvantage to Dawson that he is moving down from light-heavyweight to super middleweight?
I think if he’s moving down, he already knows that he can make the weight. He challenged, so he’s got to be a guy who’s comfortable coming down in weight. I think he feels very comfortable that he can come down to 168 and be strong.
What does each man have to do to win?
Chad has to keep the fight on the outside and keep attacking Andre to try to bang Andre up. He needs to keep Andre on his back foot so that Andre won’t be able to reach him. I think Andre has to make angles to come at Chad, and he has to keep Chad on his heels, because Chad is used to coming forward and not be backing up.