After being out of the ring for more than two years, former undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion and pound-4-pound king “Bad” Chad Dawson returned to the ring Saturday night to defeat North Carolina native Quinton Rankin via unanimous decision at the Foxwood Resort Casino in Mashantucket Connecticut. The scores were 80-68 and 78-72 twice.
Dawson, now (35-5, 19 KOs) came out using his experience and long southpaw jab to keep Rankin at distance. The New Haven, Connecticut born boxer picked up the pressure early, throwing good combinations to both the head and body of Rankin. With the loss, Rankin drops to (15-5-2, 12 KOs)
After basically dominating the first few rounds, with the third round being his best, Dawson was dropped by the unknown Rankin by a perfectly timed left uppercut that landed right on the chin of the former champion. However, Rankin would lose that point after the referee deducted a point in the same round for hitting Dawson while he was down. Dawson would win the rest of the round.
The wild-swinging southpaw was also deducted a point in round seven for hitting on the break as he tried to rough Dawson up.
Besides being knocked down, Chad dominated the majority of the fight, ripping shots to the head and body of Rankin, mostly set up behind a beautiful right jab.
While Dawson did show a little rust early on, he did show glimpses of his old self. His jab, combinations and speed looked good for the most part. Now, how that would translate against the best in the division, is yet to be seen.