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Ward defends boxing title

Andre Ward stands over the vanquished Chad Dawson.

CALIFORNIA – Andre Ward knocked down Chad Dawson three times before winning on a technical knockout in the 10th round to defend his WBC-WBA super middleweight titles Saturday night and delight his hometown crowd.

Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) knocked down Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) late in the third round and early in the fourth to take control of the fight and finished him off with a combination at 2:45 of the 10th.

Dawson, the WBC light heavyweight champion, moved down a weight class from 175 pounds to 168 to take on Ward. Dawson was also willing to fight in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, where an enthusiastic crowd had previously cheered Ward on to four wins.

But Dawson proved to be no match for Ward, who punished the challenger repeatedly with his strong left hand.

Ward, the reighing fighter of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, ran through a strong field in the Super Six super middleweight tournament, capping it with a decision over Carl Froch in December that made him the undisputed champion of the weight class.

Ward also is the last American to win an Olympic gold medal, doing it in Athens in 2004, and is widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He showed why against Dawson.

But this may have been one of his most impressive bouts.

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