LAS VEGAS -- Powerful adviser Al Haymon usually signs top titleholders, contenders and elite prospects. He is not known for signing reclamation projects, but that is exactly what he has done by adding former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson to his star-studded stable, Sam Watson, Haymon’s right-hand man, told ESPN.com on Friday at the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo weigh-in.
Watson said the plan is to get Dawson back in the ring “probably in May.”
“Chad’s still only 31,” Watson said. “We know he’s had some tough times but he can fight. And all he wants is an opportunity. We’ll get him an opportunity. The rest is up to him.”
Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs), a southpaw from New Haven, Conn., was long one of the best fighters in the world and the class of the light heavyweight division. As recently as April 2012, he easily outpointed Bernard Hopkins in their rematch. Dawson also owns two wins apiece against Antonio Tarver and Glenn Johnson and wins against Adrian Diaconu and Tomasz Adamek.
But things went south very quickly for Dawson after the Hopkins win, getting knocked out twice in a row. After the Hopkins win, he dropped down to super middleweight -- an ill-advised moved -- and challenged champion Andre Ward, who cleaned his clock and stopped him in the 10th round of an utterly one-sided fight.
Dawson returned in June 2013 and lost the light heavyweight title when Adonis Stevenson -- who signed with Haymon two weeks ago -- drilled him in the first round for the 2013 knockout of the year.
Dawson is a promotional free agent following the expiration of his contract with Gary Shaw, but it would seem likely that he will wind up fighting on a Golden Boy card since Haymon does nearly all of his business with the company.
Haymon represents numerous top fighters, most notable pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. But there are so many more, including junior featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (who is on Saturday night’s Alvarez-Angulo card and the reason Watson is in Las Vegas), Marcos Maidana, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Beibut Shumenov, Devon Alexander, Deontay Wilder, Peter Quillin, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Luis Collazo, Paulie Malignaggi, Chris Arreola, twins Jermell and Jermall Charlo, and Stevenson.