This Friday night, August 22nd at the Pechanga Casino in Temecula, California light middleweights Austin Trout and Daniel Dawson square off in a bout between two men looking to get to the next level. As we close in on fight day, Trout is a huge -2250 favorite (bet $2250 to win $100) over Dawson, who returns +1200 (bet $100 to win $1200). Could Dawson, who is 40-3-1 overall and won four fights in a row, be worth a look as the underdog? It is going to be a tall order for Dawson, who is two months from his 37th birthday. He has a lot of fights, but almost all are in Australia against the relatively lower level of competition offered there. In 2007, he lost a match to fellow Aussie Daniel Geale, and it would be Geale who would go on to perform well on the world stage, netting a world title at middleweight. By 2010, Dawson parlayed a five-fight winning streak into a WBO light middleweight title shot against Serhiy Dzinziruk, and he was TKO’d in the 10th round. Now, at 37, Dawson has been boxing just 11 years, meaning he made his debut in his mid-twenties. Dig a little deeper, and he has an extensive kickboxing background prior. Dawson is a fighter, and he has a lot of boxing matches and overall competition under his belt. But he has most likely peaked at his current level, which is well below the level of Austin Trout. Aside from the bookies making this line, Austin Trout does not get any respect in the fight game. He defeated Miguel Cotto back in December of 2012, but has dropped two fights since. Looking back at those two fights however, he went the distance with Erislandy Lara and Saul Alvarez. So for his last 36 rounds, he has been in there and contended with arguably three of the top 15 boxers in the world today. Trout showed his skill over the last three fights, but he and his handlers know he needs a win to get himself back on track. After the Cotto win got him on the map to close 2012, he went 0’fer in 2013 dropping the Lara and Alvarez fights. He will have been inactive for 9 months when he meets Dawson, and he cannot afford any more setbacks. A loss would be absolutely fatal to his career.