Former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, attempting to rejuvenate his fading career, will take on club fighter Tommy Karpency on Oct. 4 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, card co-promoter Lou DiBella announced on Monday.
The fight will be televised on Showtime as part of a card whose top two bouts have already been announced: junior lightweight titleholder Rances Barthelemy (20-0, 12 KOs) defending his belt against Fernando Saucedo (52-5-3, 8 KOs) and a junior middleweight bout between contenders Vanes Martirosyan (34-1-1, 21 KOs) and Willie Nelson (23-1-1, 13 KOs).
Dawson's career hit the skids in September 2012 when he dropped down in weight to challenge super middleweight champion Andre Ward and was knocked down three times in a one-sided 10th-round knockout loss. In his next fight, Dawson lost the light heavyweight championship when Adonis Stevenson dusted him in a 76-second knockout in June 2013.
Dawson returned one year later and stopped 39-year-old journeyman George Blades in the first round, but Dawson was not close to making weight, coming in at 182¾ for a fight contracted at 179 pounds. By fight night Dawson had ballooned to 202 pounds while Blades had rehydrated only to 186 pounds.
Dawson (32-3, 18 KOs) said he would be in better condition for the fight with Karpency.
"I've been training in Louisiana for this fight. Against Blades, I came in a bit heavy, but I've been working with my strength and conditioning coach and I will make 175 pounds without a problem," Dawson said. "I'm strong and I've got that hunger back. I'm now making my comeback. After this fight, should everything work out as planned, I will be putting myself into position to fight for a world title by next year. I want to end my career on a strong note."
Dawson, a 32-year-old southpaw from New Haven, Connecticut, will be fighting in his home state for the first time since he outpointed Glen Johnson in Hartford in their November 2009 rematch.
"It means a lot to me to be back fighting in front of my hometown fans, to be back on the East coast and not in enemy territory," said Dawson, who fought three times in Quebec against Montreal fighters and also fought Ward in his hometown of Oakland, California. "I'm looking forward to putting on a great performance in front of my fans, friends and family in attendance."
Dawson fought several early fights of his career at Foxwoods, but hasn't boxed there since 2004, more than two years before he won his first world title.
"I started my career at Foxwoods, my old stomping grounds," he said. "It's hard to believe that it's almost been a decade since I last fought at that venue. I'm excited to be fighting there again and I'm sure it will bring back a lot of memories."
Dawson does not figure to get much of a test against Karpency (23-4-1, 14 KOs), 28, of Adah, Pennsylvania. Whenever he has faced a quality opponent, Karpency has lost, including in a 2012 world title bout in Wales against then-titleholder Nathan Cleverly, who scored a 120-108 shutout on all three scorecards.
"I've watched my opponent, Tommy Karpency, and I know he's a hungry guy," Dawson said. "He won't be in there just for a paycheck, but I am prepared for whatever he brings."
DiBella does not promote Dawson, but he was put on the card because Al Haymon, Dawson's adviser, controls the show. Haymon also counts Barthelemy and Martirosyan in his vast stable of more than 120 fighters.