This Saturday night, three boxers once at the top of their weight classes will attempt to resurrect their careers in respective fights.
Chad Dawson, Robert Guerrero and Devon Alexander all return on a bumper bill at the StubHub Center in California, trying to plot a path back for world championship glory after a turgid 2013. All held respective world titles were ripped from their grasp at different points throughout the year.
The nature of each defeat is different – Guerrero lost a widely expected points decision to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather – but it was Dawson’s career that fell the most.
Dawson appeared to be on an upwards trajectory after defeating multi-weight legend Bernard Hopkins in 2011, following a draw with the same man. Accusations of Hopkins being ‘washed up’ and over the hill were proven to be incorrect, with the ‘Alien’ currently a unified light-heavyweight titlist.
A step down to super-middleweight ended in disaster against Andre Ward, suffering from a drain in weight to make the 168lbs limit and being widely beaten-down by the pound-for-pound number two, knocked down three times en route to defeat.
‘Bad Chad’ made weight excuses and subsequently moved up back up to light-heavyweight to defend his WBC strap against Adonis Stevenson, but sure enough found himself on the wrong end of a devastating knockout.
It took the Canadian one huge right hand in the first round, scrambling Dawson’s senses before he went on a now-infamous celebration around the ring.
Dawson has now been left to contemplate questions surrounding his chin, which are unable to be answered until he’s caught once again. It’s unlikely this weekend’s opponent George Blades will be able to catch him, but it’s his first step on the road to recovery.
Guerrero’s loss to Mayweather was expected, but there are two reasons he must impress against Yoshihiro Kemagai.
His reputation among fight fans was harmed quite considerably after the loss. After talking the talk beforehand and stating he would push Mayweather all the way, many were left disappointed after shelling out on pay-per-view cash to see a one-sided fight.
It is not a slight on his skills, but those in the business know your value as a television fighter takes a hit following a big defeat.
Well-publicised promotional issues with Golden Boy left him in limbo before signing with influential advisor Al Haymon, who has a large amount of welterweights in his stable. If Guerrero puts on a show against Kemagai, the southpaw could be in line for a large pay day and another chance to mix with the elite.
Alexander arguably has the toughest bout, facing warhorse Jesus Soto Karass.
Despite holding victories over credible Argentinian’s Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, the 27-year-old’s career took an unforeseen backwards step with defeat against Shawn Porter, losing his IBF welterweight crown in the process.
All three boxers have been knocked off their perch – it’s time to see whether they can reclaim their spots.
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