LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chad Dawson spent 11 years climbing to the top of boxing. With two disastrous fights, he fell most of the way back down.

The former light heavyweight champion has spent the past year out of the ring after consecutive knockout losses to Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson.

Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs) wasn't tired of his sport, but he realized he had to rethink his approach.

He returns on Saturday night in the outdoor ring in Carson, California, fighting far down the undercard against 39-year-old journeyman George Blades. It's an unlikely place to find Dawson, a former HBO headliner who has held multiple versions of the 175-pound title.

Dawson knows some people think he's a shot fighter after his first-round loss to Stevenson, and he can't wait to prove them wrong.