Undefeated WBA and WBC super middleweight world champion Andre "SOG'' Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) and WBC light heavyweight titleholder "Bad" Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) both held open media workouts this week from their respective training camps in Oakland, CA and Las Vegas, NV.
Media attendees were given the opportunity to watch training and ask the fighters questions about their upcoming September 8 "World Champions - Made In America."
Question: Can you tell us how you're feeling physically, spiritually and mentally with just a few weeks away?
Chad Dawson: "I'm in great spirits. The weight is coming off, as you can see I'm real slim (smiling). Mentally, physically everything is on point. I'm excited to be in a big fight like this. I'm excited that the fight is approaching fast. Everything is just great right now"
Q: You've been in big fights before, is this fight with Andre Ward at the top?
CD: "I would say this is at the top because the magnitude of the fight. You got two young guys, both champions in our divisions. The only difference is I'm going down to his division and challenging him for his title.
"I look at it like a big challenge for me due to the fact that I have to lose an extra seven pounds to get down to 168. So it's a challenge for me and it's a challenge I'm looking forward to. The weight is good and I left the gym yesterday weighing in at 176 pounds. I feel great."
Q: Andre has been getting a lot of notoriety as being a pound for pound fighter, so how do you feel about fighting a guy like that?
CD: "He's still just another fighter. I understand the fact that he won a gold medal and he has a great amateur background, but this is the pros. He's never been in there with a fighter like me. I don't care what the media says or what people say, he's never been in the ring with a fighter like me. On September 8th he's going to see something different in there, something he's never seen before."
Q: What's it like to fight back in Oakland?
AW: "It's always great to be home. A lot of people think it's a given when you fight at home, like it's an easy thing, but it's not. There's a lot of pressure, but good pressure when you fight at home to defend the house.
"I consider Oracle Arena my house and the Bay Area as a whole my house. I'm doing what I always do and I'm preparing well and I want to put on a great show for the fans.
Q: What motivates you as a champion?
AW: "What motivates me is first and foremost, my understanding that God gave me a something. When God gives you a gift and a talent you can be whatever. I'm a natural competitor that loves to compete and I'm striving for greatness.
"I don't believe I'm there yet and I got a lot of work to do. God willing I have a few more years left in the game but I want to be great. And if one day I could be considered great, and have a hall of fame career, I want to look back and say it's a job well done."
Q: What are your thoughts on fighting Chad Dawson?
AW: "It's a tough fight for both men. Not just me dealing with Chad Dawson, but Chad Dawson dealing with me and vice versa. That's the beauty of the fight and it sells itself because you got two young guys who are well decorated in terms of our accomplishments, and we're literally putting it all on the line at the peak of our careers. I don't think anyone can ask for anything more than that."
"Ward vs. Dawson - World Champions - Made In America''
Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson World Championship showdown, set to take place September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The co-feature will see WBC Champion Antonio DeMarco battle John "The Gladiator" Molina Jr. in a 12-round fight for the WBC Lightweight title. Both bouts will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
The event is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Promotions in association with Antonio Leonard Productions and SOG Promotions and sponsored by Corona, City of Oakland, Azad Watches and 95.7 The Game.
Tickets priced at $300, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25 and are available for purchase online at www.oraclearena.com, www.ticketmaster.com. ; Tickets are also available at the Oracle box office.