Unbeaten light heavyweight Chad Dawson was determined to leave no doubt Saturday night in his rematch against veteran warrior Glen Johnson.
Dawson, from New Haven, Conn., delighted a partisan home-state crowd at Hartford's XL Center by dominating Johnson from start to finish and retaining his light heavyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision.
Nicknamed "Bad Chad" Dawson showed speed and explosiveness in raising his record to 29-0 (17-0 KOs) as the 40-year-old Johnson (49-13-2, 33KOs) had few answers for the southpaw champion's stiff right jabs, counter lefts and rapid-fire accuracy.
Judges Michael Pernick and Duane Ford both scored the fight 115-113 while Glen Feldman scored it 117-111, all for Dawson.
Dawson, 27, won a unanimous decision against Johnson in April 2008, with all three judges scoring the fight 116-112. But Dawson's performance was seen as less than convincing to many observers because he faded in the latter rounds.
Johnson, a two-time light heavyweight champion from Jamaica fighting out of Florida, protested loud and long that he was robbed of a victory in the first fight. Dawson, to his credit, obliged by granting a rematch to silence any doubts.
"I did what I said I was going to do in this fight," Dawson said. "I wanted to outbox him and use my legs to make him miss. I had youth on my side and every other advantage. It was just a matter of me applying it in this fight."
Dawson, who has had trouble stirring up excitement about his rising stardom, said he's ready to move forward and face some fresh faces after disposing of veteran Johnson and another veteran former champion, Antonio Tarver.
But, asked what opponent he would prefer next, Dawson quickly called out Bernard Hopkins, another aging legend whom he sees as standing in his way.
"He's been rated No. 1 for more than a year and a half and I've been rated No. 2 for two years," Dawson said. "It's time to get off that."
In the co-main event, Mexico's Alfredo Angulo (17-1, 14 KOs) continued to assert himself as one of the 154-pound division's hottest prospects with a third-round knockout of previously unbeaten Harry Joe Yorgey (22-1, 10 KOs) of Bridgeport, Pa.
Angulo used a bombardment of shots to drop Yorgey flat on his back, winning for the second time since his only defeat and claiming an interim junior middleweight title.