Re: Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs Jack Dillon, fireworks at 175 lbs
Superb piece of matchmaking janitor! I think it would come down to who was able to secure the lower center of gravity, and whether or not the bout was fought on the inside or outside.
Qawi was actually a long range counterpunching specialist by nature, who had to learn infighting skills. He had the finest counterjab of any champion I observed during the relatively brief period I followed boxing closely.
Dillon would want to get inside, and rough Qawi up, not an easy task with Dwight's skill at slipping punches. I also believe Jack would be quickly frustrated by any attempts to force Qawi into retreat. Even George Foreman had difficulty doing this to an overweight and over the hill Qawi. As Johnny Davis discovered, it took tremendous energy and punching power to drive Qawi backwards, and the payoff wasn't worth the drain. At Dillon's best, he would probably be compelled to perform as Holyfield did in unifying the cruiserweight title.
Dillon would be forced to exert himself more than Qawi, and his experience in training and boxing for up to the 20 round distance comes into play. If either of them hit the deck, it would probably be Dillon, though I don't believe we'd see any knockdowns. Stylistically, Qawi has the advantage, but his habit of using his mouth to breath could cost him a broken jaw here. (It's a testimony to Dwight's extraordinary defensive skill that he never sustained such an injury against the punchers he faced.)
I'm going to guess that Qawi decisions Dillon by forcing Jack to fight tall, keeping the Hoosier to the outside and in retreat, primarily with his jab. Qawi would be doing more punching than Dillon, who would find Qawi's style very taxing to contend with.
Because of Qawi's tendency to breath through his mouth, he was susceptible to respiratory ailments (like the pneumonia infection which plagued him during the Spinks match). Here, I'm presupposing that Dwight would have no such hindrance. For all of Dillon's experience, it's very possible that he never encountered an adversary quite like Qawi.
The inclusion of boxers like Dwight Muhammad Qawi is the best function of organizations like the IBHOF, competitors who might otherwise be overlooked. In his technique, he represents an outstanding example for certain aspiring boxers to emulate, with elements worth incorporating into their own form and function. His peak performances should be carefully studied by serious students of the craft.