On the undercard of the rematch between Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson returned to the ring for the first time since his August 2010 loss to the evening's main eventer, Pascal. Standing in the opposite corner was Adrian Diaconu. It was believed by many heading into the night that a Dawson win would have "Bad" Chad in line to face the Pascal/Hopkins winner.
The much taller Dawson looked to use his jab through the early rounds. When Dawson would see fit to open up with his offense he would occasionally leave himself open to the counter power shots of Diaconu. Still, the biggest shot of the first half of the fight was a hard left hook from Dawson that stunned Diaconu at the end of round two.
The fight fell into a pattern of Dawson throwing the jab and occassionally trying to unload a combination before setting back on the outside. It appeared that Chad was winning the majority of the rounds but in round nine it was Diaconu that landed a hard flurry that had Dawson shaken. HBO had the fight scored six rounds to three after nine, favoring Dawson.
It appeared that a knockout was the only way for Diaconu to pull off the upset, outside of some home horrible "hometown scoring." Knowing this, Diaconu came out hard in the final round throwing hard shots trying to find a way to get the stoppage. I wouldn't come though and the fight went to the judge's scorecards.
There would be no home cooking as the official scorecards read 117-111, 118-110, 116-112 all for Chad Dawson.
It wasn't a thrilling performance and Dawson looked to either lack motivation or get too careless at times, but he got the much needed win to rebound from his first loss and should be right back in title contention.