Dawson Outworks Grachev To Earn USNBC Title
Twenty-four hours after learning he’d been inducted into the
Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, “Bad” Chad Dawson turned
back the clock with another Hall-worthy performance Friday
at the Connecticut Convention Center in downtown Hartford.
The 37-year-old Dawson (36-5) outworked Russian veteran
Denis Grachev (19-9-1) live on UFC FIGHT PASS® by scores of
80-72, 79-73, 80-72 to capture the WBC USNBC light
heavyweight title in the main event of CES Boxing’s
long-awaited return to Hartford.
After shaking off the rust in his comeback fight in June,
the former two-time world champion Dawson looked much
sharper Friday against the always-dangerous Grachev, using
his exceptional footwork and defense, coupled with a stiff
jab, to keep the hard-charging Russian at bay. Grachev
promised to dictate the pace, suggesting Dawson doesn’t
handle pressure well, but the New Haven, CT, veteran
masterfully controlled the fight from the opening bell, save
for a brief scare in the sixth when Grachev landed a rare
clean shot and backed the champ against the ropes.
Afterward, Dawson issued a challenge to the world’s
top-rated 175-pounders, citing, “I feel like I’m 25 again.”
On Thursday, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame announced
Dawson as one six honorees in its 2019 class, which also
includes Arturo Gatti and Delvin Rodriguez.
Unbeaten New London, CT, heavyweight Cassius Chaney (17-0,
11 KOs) made quick work of Colombian veteran Santander
Silgado (22-8), scoring a one-punch knockout 1 minute, 3
seconds into the opening round of the co-main event with a
thundering overhand right. Also on the UFC FIGHT PASS® main
card, New Haven’s Jimmy Williams (16-3-2) and Tilton, NH,
super welterweight Jose Medina (18-17-2) battled to a
six-round draw with scores of 58-56, 56-58, 57-57.
Hartford lightweight Sharad Collier (4-0-1, 3 KOs) rallied
in the opening bout of the telecast to earn a third-round
knockout win over hard-hitting Glenn Mitchell (3-4) of
Steubenville, OH. Collier hit the canvas in the opening
round courtesy of a stiff, left jab by Mitchell, but dusted
himself off and landed a series of looping, overhand shots
that floored Mitchell right before the bell. As Collier
became more patient in the later rounds, he continued to
rock the taller, lankier Mitchell with hard, overhand
rights, eventually earning the stoppage at the 2:15 mark.
The preliminary card featured three evenly-matched bouts,
starting with Springfield, MA, super welterweight Jalen
Renaud (2-0) scoring a first-round knockdown en route to a
unanimous decision win over Boston’s Maceo Crowder (2-3),
who retured to the ring for the first time in six years.
Crowder had his moments after the knockdown and landed some
effective blows, but Renaud earned the decision, 40-35,
across the board.
In what may have been the most entertaining bout on the
card, New Britain, CT, super bantamweight Nathan Martinez
(6-0) remained unbeaten with a hard-earned win over Texan
Steve Garagarza (1-2-1), 40-36, 39-37, 39-37. The bout began
at a frenetic pace with the two fighters exchanging shots
within inches of one another for the first two rounds. The
pace slowed a bit as fatigue set in, but the fight remained
entertaining as Garagarza continued to press the action.
Martinez’s defense was the story as the talented
right-hander kept his guard up and landed effective
counterpunches to pile up the point.
Decorated amateur and former 2017 New York Golden Gloves
champion Jahvel Joseph (1-0) of the Bronx, NY, earned the
win in his professional debut, overcoming a solid effort by
Sao Paolo, Brazil vet Leandro Silva (1-3) by scored of
40-36, 39-37, 39-37, Silva, also a nine-time UFC vet in
mixed martial arts, put constant pressure on Joseph, who
eventually settled down and utilized his height advantage
with an effective jab to set up his offensive attack.