OAKLAND — One of the biggest questions leading into Saturday night’s super middleweight title fight between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson (9:45 pm, HBO) will be settled on Friday, when Dawson, a longtime 175-pounder, steps on the scale and attempts to make 168 pounds for the first time since 2006.
At Thursday’s final press conference, Dawson — who told SI.com he weighed 170-pounds this morning — claimed he would have no trouble coming in on-weight.
“I’ll make the weight, no problem,” Dawson said. “I’m still eating. I told everyone I could make 168. I wasn’t saying it to sell a fight, I was saying it because I can do it. We have talked about moving to 168 for the last few years. When I finally had the opportunity to do it, I did it.”
Dawson credits an altered diet for his ability to slim down effectively
“The only difference is that I’m not able to eat what I want,” Dawson said. “Before, I would eat steak, mashed potatoes, burgers. Now I’m on a good nutrition plan. I’m eating vegetables, fish, and chicken. I feel a lot faster, a lot stronger.”
Ward said he has not thought about what will happen should Dawson come in overweight.
“There will be some ramifications,” Ward said. “But we haven’t even discussed it. There will be more money [going to me]. But it’s not really something I’m dwelling on.”
Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, said that because of the money involved for both fighters, the fight will go on even if Dawson comes in heavy.
“The belts will come off the line and there will be a certain weight he can’t go over [on Saturday], but it will go on,” Hunter said. “Honestly, if he came in over, I wouldn’t be surprised. When you look at the demeanor of the people around him compared to earlier, they look different. They are concerned about something. They would have to throw us some money, but the fight will go on.”
– Chris Mannix