By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
In a match-up between two former WBC world champions, Adrian Diaconu (27-2 15KO) knows that he has everything to gain as he meets up against Chad Dawson (29-1 17KO) Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. “We’re not starring on the show that night,” said Diaconu’s trainer Pierre Bouchard of the HBO telecast that features the rematch between Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, “But we’re certainly in a position to steal the show. We’re very confident, but we know the challenge we have. This will be our chance to show that we belong at that high level amongst the elite level of competition.”
“Every fight is a chance to get back to the top,” said Diaconu, “Every fight is important at this stage.”
Dawson comes back to Montreal, scene of his only career loss last September against current champion Pascal where he was stopped on a cut from an accidental headbutt. The only black marks on Diaconu’s record also come at the hands of Pascal, a pair of 12 round decision losses.
“We’re expecting the best Chad Dawson, not the one who fought Jean Pascal,” said Bouchard as he watched his fighter at a public workout session earlier this week. “We’re expecting the one who fought Johnson the first time.
“We’ve had really good preparation for this fight, you could say it was the best one, but you always say it’s the best one.”
Diaconu has been down this road before though, after winning the right face off against Dawson in 2007, Diaconu had to pull out of a September fight that year held in Sacramento due to a hand injury. Dawson fought late substitute Epifanio Mendoza and won easily in four rounds.
“He prepared for him and has been thinking about him for four years,” said the trainer, “Anytime he we’ve sat down and watched Dawson since that time, we knew that at some point we would have to face him.”
While there are marked differences between Pascal and Diaconu, Bouchard feels that with Dawson coming off his first defeat, it may help play into the hands of his fighter. “You know he’s not invincible, you know he can be defeated and that maybe his confidence has decreased a bit. But at the same time he’s likely to come back stronger and that it was a mistake. We have to be prepared for the best if he’s coming here looking to avenge his defeat.”
While Pascal was arguably the fastest fighter Dawson has faced, Diaconu brings the dimension of power to the table. “I think everybody knows that his chin is the most questionable thing about Dawson, so we’re going to test it for sure. I think we’ll have some surprises in store for him. It will be a good match of styles.”
While much preparation has gone into Diaconu’s conditioning, Bouchard said that getting his former champion back on track emotionally was key after a pair of defeats to his cross-town rival Pascal. “Adrian’s an emotional guy; getting him right between the ears was definitely key.”
Diaconu wouldn’t compare the challenge he has in front of him now with Dawson compared to the man he lost his championship to, Jean Pascal. “Every fight is different,” said the Romanian born slugger. “I have to prove to the world that I’m a quality boxer and I’m ready to do that,” said Diaconu about fighting on HBO for the first time.