Discuss your best and worst memory as a fighter, and which wins — amateur or professional — have been the most satisfying or memorable?
Chad Dawson – As a fighter, you always strive to be the best, so when I suffered my first loss to Jean Pascal, it was a very disappointing moment in my life, and by far the worst memory of my boxing career. When I saw Pascal’s hand raised after the fight, the feeling in my mind, body and soul was demoralizing. I knew I had to get back in the gym and prove to the world that I had an off night, and work my way to get back on top. I learned a lot about myself and the people around me after that loss. I realized that I had group surrounding me that were in my circle for all the wrong reasons, not looking out for my best interest, which affected my mindset for the worse. Those days are behind me now and I have people in my corner that really care about me. The team I have in place now is tremendous. I consider them my family and our goal is to be the best team in boxing and show the world the Team Dawson is a force. Together we can’t be stopped, I really believe that.
When I won my first world title against Tomasz Adamek, who was undefeated at the time, it was an incredible feeling, because I accomplished my childhood dream of becoming a world champion. That win was so gratifying to me, because my dad had always told me that I could become a world champion some day and I finally made it happen for both of us. I can’t describe the feeling I had when I saw the look on my father’s face after that belt was strapped around my waist. No doubt, it was the most fulfilling moment of my boxing career. I realized then that I had the talent to become one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
Taking this fight with Andre Ward in his backyard, coming down to his weight class, fighting for his world title, is proof that I’m a throwback fighter that doesn’t care about the situation. I’m willing to fight the best on any given day and that’s what boxing is all about. On September 8th, in Oakland California where the crowd will be rooting against me, you’re going to see a true warrior put it all on the line and bring home that world title, and that warrior is me. I will be victorious on fight night.
Ward vs. Dawson takes place Saturday, Sept. 8 live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello