‘Big Dog’s’ Prospect Watch: ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson
Interview with undefeated middleweight prospect Chad Dawson and trainer ‘Ice’ John Scully
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (March 11, 2005)
With past middleweight greats and the recent crop of young superstars in the mix it isn’t easy getting your name in the bright lights of boxing’s elite. But with determination, dedication and discipline, along with a dash of skill, speed and devastating punching power, and you have mixed yourself up a dose of star quality with a shot at greatness. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you define the talents of newcomer Chad Dawson, 16-0 (11). The twenty-two year old 6’3” reigning WBC Youth Middleweight champion has set his sites on the top, and he will settle for nothing less. Under the tutelage of former light heavyweight contender ‘Ice’ John Scully, Dawson looks to hone his skills and continue his climb to the top.
At the age of eleven Chad laced up the gloves and competed in over seventy amateur bouts winning many championships. The young southpaw flourished as an amateur, as a Junior Olympian Chad was a three-time State Champion, a two-time regional champ and a national runner up. He continued to add to his accolades with top honors in the 2000 Golden Gloves championships in Holyoke, MA. He was a champion in the Us Nationals in the Under 19 Championships, earned a Bronze medal in the World Under 19-Championships and he was named USA Boxing Athlete of the Month for November of 2000. With all his accomplishments it was time for the youngster to step to the pros.
Late summer of 2001 the hard hitting Dawson made his debut and disposed his opposition in just two rounds; his devastating power is the prime factor of his arsenal. His first four professional bouts would end with knockouts, three in the opening round. In his bid to achieve his dreams the southpaw faced Dumont Welliver, who previously beat the youngster in the 1998 US Juniors Olympics Championships. This time Welliver would be on the losing end with an eighth round TKO earning Chad the WBC Youth Middleweight title. ‘Bad’ Chad has come on strong defeating previously unbeaten Darnell Wilson and stopping two fight veterans with knockouts, Brett Lally (32-11) by 4th round TKO and most recently Carl Daniels (49-4-1) by 7th round TKO. And on April 1st the unbeaten powerhouse is looking to continue to add to his winning record when he steps in the ring with Efrain Garcia, 17-4-1 (11), and for the first time he will be showcasing his talents to his hometown crowd. It has been said that Chad’s size and explosive nature in the ring reminds some of a young left handed Tommy Hearns. The future star stepped into the Doghouse along with his trainer to talk about his young career and what he hopes the future will hold for himself. Enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: You will be fighting April 1st for the first time in your home town of New Haven Connecticut, give us your thoughts on doing so, and does it add a lot of pressure fighting in front of the hometown crowd?
Chad Dawson: It’s a lot of pressure but also it is very special because I have all my friends, fans and family there, so I’ll be ready.
BH: What can you tell us about your upcoming opponent Efrain Garcia?
CD: I seen a tape on him and he is a good fighter but I think I got the advantage, I don’t think the fight will go long but I think it will be a good fight.
BH: How has it been working with trainer ‘Ice’ John Scully, and what is your workout regime?
CD: Scully is one of the best trainers I have had, we work on everything it’s not all about boxing. We do a lot of running, sprinting, and we realize boxing is about mentally strong also in the ring so he trains my mind my body and it is good. Scully is one of the best trainers around, I got to give that to him.
BH: You had over seventy amateur fights and won numerous championships, so how important do you feel an amateur background is for a professional boxer?
CD: It is very important an amateur background is very important. Some people just have the talent and some don’t, some people can fight just fifteen amateur fights and have a good professional career, but I was blessed to have a good amateur background and have the experience that I have. I trained hard and then moved up to the pros, I always had a pro style so it wasn’t hard for me.
BH: In 2003 you survived a first round “Flash” knock down to come back and knock Willie Lee out in the third round. Can you tell us what you where thinking when you hit the canvas and what it felt like to come back and get the win after the knock down?
CD: I got caught with a nice shot early in the first round, it was a flash knock down but I got right back up. I mean it’s all about heart, don’t go in the ring and lay down and let the other guy roll over you. I know I had the heart and I knew I was the better fighter, so I got my mind together and just finished the job.
BH: What do you feel your best quality is as a fighter and what do you think you can work more on to become the complete boxer?
CD: There is always something to improve on. Every fight I watch the tape and I see something that I could have done better. The style I have is good, I am a boxer and I can punch, we just add more and more to the repertoire every time we get together.
BH: You have stated before that you wanted to step in the ring with Jermain Taylor, why Taylor, and do you feel that you are ready to step up to that level?
CH: The competition level that Jermain has been facing he hasn’t faced a fighter like me. I will be the toughest fight he ever had, and I will be the toughest person he ever ran into too.
BH: What does 2005 hold for Chad Dawson?
CD: Hopefully a couple of titles, I definitely want to go win another five or six fights and remain undefeated. My manager told me the sky is the limit, so with my training and me staying in shape I think I will go to the top, I know I’m going to the top.
BH: What is the main thing that motivates you?
CD: My main motivation is that I want a different life style I have been fighting since I was ten years old so it comes natural to me. When I step in the ring it is like my future, it will get me from where I am now to where I want to be.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
CH: I have a big fight coming up and I hope everybody will come out and catch it n TV when it airs and I hope it will be something special for everybody.
Questions for trainer ‘Ice’ John Scully
Benny Henderson Jr.: How long have you been working with Chad Dawson?
John Scully: I have been working with Chad for several months now and it has been a very good experience so far. He has done everything that I have asked of him so there isn’t anything to complain about, we have worked well together so far.
BH: What do you personally see in Chad that you may not see in other fighters in the middleweight division at this time?
JS: I think Chad has a lot of range when he is in there, very rangy and difficult, he has reflexes like a young Michael Nunn.
BH: Looking at Dawson what do you feel is his best asset as a fighter?
JS: From working with him closely I see a lot of great attributes but the one that stands out the most is that he is very willing to try new things in the ring than rather just relying on what he already has.
BH: Chad has said that he wants to fight Jermain Taylor, as his trainer and being honest is he ready to do so, is he ready to step up to that level?
JS: I haven’t seen that much of Taylor but I will tell you this much, Chad has the style, power and range to give any middleweight trouble. When I see young fighters in the ring as Taylor in the ring they aren't doing anything better than Chad can do, guys like Lacy or Taylor or guys at or around that weight are good no doubt, but they have powerful promoters and strong television behind them. Their careers are mapped out very carefully and they are always given the best chance to win, the circumstances always favor them. If Chad had stuck around for the Olympics and have made it he would have already been champ by now.
I would like to thank Bob Trieger of Full Court Press for setting up this interview. I would like to give a big shout out to Chad Dawson and John Scully for their time and thoughts for the fans, it is greatly appreciated. Chad is promoted by CES and is managed by Lou Mayo and is trained by John Scully and at this time is ranked #15 by the WBC.
© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2005