Andre Ward turned in the greatest performances of his career when he knocked down Chad Dawson three times before making him quit in the 10th round Saturday night.
Ward made the elite Dawson look rather ordinary from the beginning of the fight. In the third and fourth rounds, Ward floored Dawson with perfectly placed left hooks.
In the 10th round, Ward was so far ahead on the scorecards he could have coasted, but the Oakland native looked to take Dawson out. Ward landed a fierce combination of punches that forced Dawson to take a knee. When Dawson rose to his feet, he told referee Steve Smoger he didn’t want to continue. (h/t HBO broadcast)
With this performance, I believe that Ward has passed Manny Pacquiao and should now be considered No. 2 on the mythical pound-for-pound list.
Both men have beaten great fighters, but the difference is Ward, like the great Floyd Mayweather Jr., has never lost.
In addition to having never lost, Ward has been fighting opponents in their prime, while Manny has been fighting guys who were old (Shane Mosley), on the decline (Antonio Margarito) or tailor-made for him (Ricky Hatton).
Ward, over the last three years, has fought and beat every elite fighter placed in front of him and has done so in remarkable fashion.
As great as Manny Pacquiao is, he has not looked very impressive in his last couple of fights and is showing signs of slipping. Manny is an exciting, "all-action" fighter, but he is not the complete package in the ring that Ward is.
The pound-for-pound list is about who is the best fighter—not who is the most popular or the most crowd pleasing, but who has the most skills in the ring.
Andre Ward’s beating the reigning light heavyweight champion and the body of work he has put together over his career show he belongs at the No. 2 spot.