After months of speculation following a hand injury in his win over Carl Froch, Oakland's Andre Ward is set for his next bout. The super middleweight champ will continue battling strong competition as he faces off against current light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. The fight is scheduled for September 8, with Oakland's Oracle Arena set to host their hometown hero.
Dawson is coming down to the 168 pound weight class to challenge Ward for his WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine titles. Ward emerged as the Ring Magazine champion after winning the Super Six World Boxing Classic with a dominating finals victory over Froch. Following that fight there was discussion of Ward meeting Lucian Bute. The fight never happened in part because of Ward's hand injury, leaving Bute to meet Froch in Nottingham, England. Bute had been considered the best fighter not in the Super Six, but he was dominated by Froch.
It is entirely possible Ward and Froch will meet again, but in the meantime, Dawson will present Ward with a significant challenge. Dawson sits at 31-1 with one no contest and is coming off a split decision victory over Bernard Hopkins. It will be interesting to see how Dawson handles the drop in weight. He has been fighting at light heavyweight since early 2006, with his last fight at super middleweight coming in February 2006.
The fight is a huge get for Oakland, particularly with the news that the Golden State Warriors are pursuing a move to San Francisco. The city will be hoping that the crowds turn out for the fight, however; the last two Ward fights in Oakland drew crowds well below expectations.