Promoters Gary Shaw and Yvon Michel announced today that WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson (31-2) will face Adonis Stevenson (20-1) on June 8, 2103 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The bout will be televised by HBO in the United States and could be paired with a Yuriorkis Gamboa bout to be aired from a different site.
Quite frankly, although Dawson is the champion, this may be his last chance for stardom. He is coming off of a disastrous trip to the super middleweight division in September when he was dropped three times and stopped by Andre Ward. Additionally, in his first trip to Montreal in August, 2010, Dawson fought with no passion and looked horrible in losing a decision to Jean Pascal. In fact, in Dawson’s most recent HBO televised victories, he also did not look very good in victories against fringe contender Adrian Diaconou and Bernard Hopkins (who, according to Dan Rafael, will face IBF mandatory challenger Karo Murat in July or August). Because Dawson fights with a passive style and has not scored a knock out since 2007, he has not developed into a ticket-seller or ratings draw. Should he put forward another sub par performance, even in a win, this could be the last time he is featured on premium cable television.
Stevenson, on the other hand, is taking big step up in competition in order to take a massive step forward in his quest to be a star. Most of Stevenson’s bouts have been against modest opposition (his best win is against Don George) and were at super middleweight. He hopes that his knockout power will lead to not only a win against Dawson but also to future premium cable appearances and a run of headlining venues in Montreal similar to Pascal and Lucian Bute (who will face each other at the Bell Centre on May 25, 2013).
One hopes that the combination of a “must win” situation for Dawson and the hungry challenger will overcome the seeming style-clash destined to make a bad fight and end up in a good fight. That remains to be seen. It must be said, though, the Montreal fans will produce a good atmosphere as they are some of the best boxing fans on the planet.