Chad Dawson vs. Adrian Diaconu: Round-by-Round Recap, Analysis

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By Nick Tylwalk

HBO's World Championship Boxing is on the air from the Bell Centre in Montreal. Tonight's main event is the rematch between Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, but we've got an interesting bout up first with Chad Dawson trying to bounce back from his first career loss by taking on Adrian Diaconu.

Max Kellerman talks to Emanuel Steward, who is working with Dawson for the first time.

He says he always felt Dawson had tons of talent and he is simply trying to get him to utilize some of his natural gifts and live up to his potential. Steward says we should expect a knockout from Chad tonight.

The tale of the tape shows that Dawson has a three-inch height advantage and about the same edge in reach as well. Dawson is also four years younger than Diaconu.

Diaconu comes to the ring first, getting a nice welcome from the fans. The Shark is 27-2 with 15 KOs, with both of those losses coming to Pascal back in 2009.

As you may expect, Dawson hears some boos from the Montreal crowd. He enters with a professional record of 29-1 with 17 KOs, and this is his first fight since losing to Pascal last August.

Michael Buffer does the bilingual fighter introductions and we are all set for a scheduled 12 rounds of boxing in the light heavyweight division.

Round 1

Both men test the jab, with Dawson sticking it right in Diaconu's face. Chad reaches to touch The Shark to the body. The ref warns Dawson for leading with his head. Diaconu tries to hold him off as he tries to step forward. There's a nice exchange with both men landing some shots. Diaconu really has to lean forward to land. Dawson throws hooks with both hands. Chad lands a good body shot along the ropes.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 2

Dawson slowly backs Diaconu into the ropes but doesn't land anything serious. Diaconu tries some right hands that are blocked. Dawson lands a one-two and gets back to jabbing range. He tries another, then ducks away from some return fire. Dawson lines up two left hands. Both fighters are bouncing around, trying not to stay stationary targets. Dawson lands a right hook, then a body shot that makes Diaconu wobble a bit.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 3

Dawson hops forward for a body shot and covers up as Diaconu tries to counter. Diaconu tries a right hand that is blocked, and Dawson attacks the body with both hands. Two jabs set up a left hand for Chad. Nice counter left by Dawson, though Diaconu attempts a flurry right after it. Dawson is also testing the left uppercut with some success. Diaconu is trying to step up the pace, but he is missing tons of punches.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 4

An early body shot lands for Dawson, and he feints while looking for head shots. Diaconu is busy but still largely ineffective. Dawson chases him into the ropes, but Diaconu lands two quick shots. Dawson advances again, throwing plenty of jabs. Diaconu absorbs an uppercut and lands a clean right hand. More rights from The Shark make Dawson keep his guard up.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Diaconu

Round 5

Both men try to open up a bit with left hands in the middle of an exchange. Dawson landed the best left but Diaconu also scored. Lead right is followed by a left hook by Diaconu. Dawson measures a combo that is mostly blocked, then gets hit with a pair of body shots. Dawson lands a left and tries to follow with another. A right hook knocks Diaconu off balance right before the bell.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 6

Dawson does the chasing as he tries some jabs, and the ref warns Diaconu for grabbing Chad's arm. Dawson circles around to look for an opening for the left hand. He feints with the right and comes over the top with the left. Diaconu tries to flurry and gets met with several power shots coming back. There's a big swing and a miss for The Shark. Chad rolls away from several shots, and Diaconu tries some rough stuff on the inside.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 7

Steward tried to get Dawson going by telling him the fight was close between rounds. Chad does come out a little more energetically in this frame. Diaconu is still trying to fire, but he gets whacked with a right hook. Both men score in a brief exchange, and Diaconu has to scramble to get out of trouble along the ropes. Diaconu fires two right hands as the fans try to get him going. He lunges in for head and body shots. Diaconu goes to the body, then fires between the guard to the head. Dawson barely avoids some power shots in the closing seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Diaconu

Round 8

Diaconu comes forward as Dawson looks to counter. Chad lets his hands fo along the ropes, but Diaconu comes charging back out. There's a nice left uppercut by Dawson. Kellerman just commented that Dawson drops both hands and backs straight away at times. Dawson lines up another quick flurry as Diaconu tries to pivot off the ropes. The last 10 seconds see both fighters try to fire off combinations.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 9

Lampley says Dawson has resumed looking like the boxer who has apeared to float at times in his career. He seems to be cruising as he lands two shots and avoids the counter. The fans get restless as Dawson lands a straight left. Steward tells Kellerman that he told Dawson he might be losing because they are in Montreal. Diaconu lands a left-right combo and Dawson looks a bit hurt. He tries to fire back with some success. Diaconu wants the right hand but Dawson slips it and lands an uppercut.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Diaconu

Round 10

Harold Lederman has Dawson up by three points going into the tenth round, which seems about right. Dawson comes forward and runs into a clinch. There's a stiff right hand by Diaconu that makes Dawson nod his head. Diaconu has some blood near his left eye. Both men land stiff jabs, but Dawson is able to land multiple punches in the next few seconds. Chad lands a body shot and an uppercut as he keeps moving. Good movement by Dawson in the final 10 seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 11

Dawson keeps good range and keeps the jab pumping. Diaconu lands one right hand and tries coming forward again. Dawson ends up on his butt but it is correctly ruled a slip. Diaconu tries some hooks as he jumps in. Dawson stays elusive and lands a hard hook to the body. Both fighters duck their heads and try some hooks. Dawson is warned for pushing his man away. Chad lands a short left before the bell.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson

Round 12

Diaconu's corner told him he needs a KO to win. Dawson does most of the early work though. He connects with some jabs and a left upstairs. There's a short left by Chad ont he inside. The pace picks up as Diaconu lands a sharp right hand. The Shark strikes with another right but Dawson takes it well. Dawson lands two power shots but Diaconu keeps coming. Chad keeps working with an uppercut on the inside. Dawson keeps moving and uses an uppercut to keep Diaconu at bay. We get to the final bell, and we'll see what the judges think.

Tylwalk: 10-10

Tylwalk: 117-112 Dawson

The judges score it 117-111, 118-110 and 116-112, all for the winner by unanimous decision, "Bad" Chad Dawson.