It's not Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva, but it's something special.
Tonight (Sat., Sept. 8, 2012) in Oakland, California, two divisional kingpins will collide in a clash of pound-for-pound talent as Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson drops down to super middleweight to take on Super Six winner and 2011 Ring Magazine "Fighter of the Year," Andre Ward.
MMAmania.com will have LIVE coverage of the bout, starting with the HBO broadcast at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Dawson most recently cemented his position as lord of the 175-pound division with a clear-cut decision win over Bernard Hopkins, arguably the latter's first decision loss since his 1993 bout with Roy Jones, Jr. that was not controversial. He owns wins over standouts Antonio Tarver and Tomasz Adamek.
A 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Ward exploded onto the scene in Showtime's "Super Six" tournament, easily defeating the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, and Arthur Abraham to claim the championship. He currently owns the WBA "super," WBC, and The Ring super middleweight titles, all of which will be on the line tonight.
In the co-feature, WBC lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco will face hard-hitting John Molina. DeMarco is two fights removed from the biggest win of his career, an impressive come-from-behind upset of Jorge Linares to win the title.
In addition, this afternoon's Vitali Klitschko vs. Manuel Charr fight will be shown once again for those who missed it.
Quick results and play-by-play after the jump.
Super Middleweight Championship: Andre Ward def. Chad Dawson by TKO in Round Ten
Lightweight Championship: Antonio DeMarco def. John Molina by TKO in Round One
Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson
Round one: Dawson looks bigger than Ward, as expected. Jabbing from both men to begin. Left straight for Dawson connects before Ward ties him up. Ward trying to get a right straight to the body working. Left hook from Ward, Dawson fails to clinch. Ward still going for that long right straight to the body. Nice straight from Dawson. Dawson moves in, they clinch, Ward smacks him as they separate. Good round from Ward; he's doing a great job of getting in and out. 10-9 Ward.
Round two: Nice combo high and low for Ward. Clinch. Nice right hook from Dawson and another as Ward comes in. Clinch. Clinch as Ward comes in, Dawson whacks him twice on the inside. Good straight from Dawson before they clinch. Nice right and left from Dawson as Ward comes in. Again; Ward is trying to come straight at him and it's not working. Ward lands a lab; Dawson is constantly hurling his right hand as Ward comes in. Clinch, Dawson lands glancingly to the body. Stats say Ward outlanded him, but I didn't see it. 19-19.
Round three: Someone's cut from a headbutt. Don't see who. Dawson moving forward this round and eats a few jabs. Jab and clinch from Ward. Dawson tries to force Ward into the ropes but gets denied by fancy footrwork from Ward. More nice jabs from Ward. Clinching. Jab and out, jab and out for Ward. BIG left hook out of nowhere from Ward drops Dawson! Did NOT expect that. Dawson back up and steady. Ward comes on hard and lands a couple more hooks, but can't get him. Dawson firing back at the bell. Great round. 29-27 Ward.
Round four: Weird punch exchange and both guys go down; Dawson got dropped, Ward tripped. Dawson gets back to his feet and Ward is all over him. Dawson tries to fend him off with long punches but almost falls again. Combinations on the ropes by Ward; Dawson is not in a good way here. Dawson survives and things slow back down; nice left from Dawson. Ward now ramps up the aggression briefly and lands a few. Things are sedate at the bell, but Ward flat-out kicked his ass that round. 39-35 Ward.
Round five: Nice straight to the body from Ward. Clinch. More clinch. Nice straight from Dawson. Solid jab from Ward; a bit odd that he's not pouring it on this round. Nice left from Ward, which prompts Dawson to fire back with no success. Counter jab from Ward. Big left from Dawson, Ward just shakes his head. Clinch. Clinch. Nice left for Ward as he comes in. Slower round, but still in Ward's favor. 49-44 Ward.
Round six: Ward moving forward, lands stiff jabs and that left hook of his. Another right to the body. Now up top after two jabs. Solid left from Ward. Dawson isn't trying to counter him anymore and I think that's a mistake. Good left straight from Chad, however. Straight to the body from Ward. One-two from Ward. Another good jab and the straight to the body. Ward is wiping the floor with him at this point. 59-53 Ward.
Round seven: Clinch from Ward after ducking a left straight. Three good jabs from Ward, then a hook. Dawson backs him up with punches and lands a couple before getting tied up. Hook from Ward as they clinch. Nice left from Dawson. Clinch. Solid short blows from Ward as they separate. again. Good right from Ward at the bell. Dawson needs to go balls-out to an extent he never has if he wants to win. 69-62 Ward.
Round eight: Dawson ties up, Ward again lands a couple of solid shots from point-blank. Clinch. Straight to the body, clinch. Dawson is barely throwing anymore. Ward moves forward with gusto behind his hooks, but nothign lands clean. Good series of jabs by Ward before Dawson ties him up. More good inside shots from Ward, including Boetsch-style uppercuts. Dawson has to ask himself if he wants to win, because so far the answer is "no." He's landing, on average, less than five punches a round. 79-71 Ward.
Round nine: Clinch. Jab from Ward and another. Nice flurry in close and a big right straight. Dawson ties him up and Ward roughs him up from there. Right from Ward, retaliatory uppercut from Dawson doesn't connect. Left from Dawson, but he gets backed up. Clinch and Ward continues thumping him from there. Dawson finally throws a good flurry, but Ward gives as good as he gets. Complete domination. 89-80 Ward.
Round ten: Good left to the body inside. Good jab from Ward, then they tie up. Clinch again. Another good jab from Ward, who lands a right shortly after. Dawson tries to push in behind punches but can't connect. Clinch. Ward ties Dawson up as he comes in. Another clinch. Nice left hook from Ward hurts Dawson and Andre pours it on until Dawson takes a knee. Dawson gets to his feet, but he looks like he's in la-la land and the ref stops it. Ward is, in my book, officially #3 pound-for-pound. Fantastic fight from a fantastic fighter.
Final Result: Ward def. Dawson by TKO
Antonio DeMarco vs. John Molina
Round one: First real punch of the fight is a big left straight from DeMarco which sends Molina stumbling into the ropes. DeMarco unloads on him as Molina slowly folds over and the referee stops it. Wow.
Final Result: DeMarco def. Molina by TKO