Dawson fired up for Hopkins rematch

By Francis Walker, BASN Boxing writer
Updated: March 7, 2012

Dawson is looking forward to Hopkins rematch

Dawson is looking forward to Hopkins rematch

NEW YORK, NY—-WBC light-heavyweight champion, Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) and Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) agreed to fight each other following their distasteful conclusion in California last October. It was in the second round when Dawson inadvertently (or maybe blatantly) elevated Hopkins, boxing history’s oldest world champion, and torpedoed him onto his left shoulder. The bout was stopped and initially ruled a TKO loss for Hopkins, but that outcome was correctly changed to a no-contest.

“Hopkins-Dawson 2: Once and For All” will commence from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ on Saturday, April 28. The bout can be seen exclusively on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.

Dawson believes that Hopkins used his injury as a way out of the fight because, the old man was intimidated.

“I’m a pretty intimidating person,” Dawson told a small group of reporters. “That night, I wanted to fight.”

The 6′ 3,” Dawson was visibly angered by the fact Hopkins didn’t, or couldn’t continue. Dawson was yelling insults at Hopkins from close quarters and had to be mildly restrained. After watching the video repeatedly, Dawson concluded he did nothing wrong and that Hopkins wasn’t hurt as bad as he led on.

“Watching it over and over,” Dawson explained, “people said I did a ‘MMA move.’ All I did was slide away from the headlock I was had in. I was trying to defend myself.”

Dawson went on to explained to everyone that he isn’t a ‘dirty’ fighter and doesn’t initiate such tactics.

“I never had a point taken away,” Dawson added. “I’ve never done anything intentionally to another fighter. Honestly, it’s a move any boxer would have done. Anytime someone tries to foul you, you have to react.”

Hopkins does have a history of being involved in dramatic, foul-filled matches. Segundo Mercardo, Antwun Echols, Winky Wright, Robert Allen, Joe Calzaghe, and Roy Jones, Jr. to name a few. Either Hopkins was thrown down onto the canvas, tossed out of the ring by a referee, or even if he head-butted another boxer. There is always the possibly of a foul occurring in a Bernard Hopkins fight.

Just as much as the likelihood of a foul occurring, so is the possibility of a flawless and brilliant technical performance from Bernard. The rematch with Jean Pascal when Hopkins became boxing’s oldest champion at age 47. Hopkins’ two decision victories against Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik were astonishing, career-defining performances. His knockouts of Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad to unify the world middleweight championships elevated Hopkins to Hall of Fame status.

While Hopkins continues to make history, Dawson believes that the old man is trying too hard to hold onto something that he should relinquish. Dawson probably isn’t going to retire Hopkins, but he is looking to end his reign as light-heavyweight champion.

“I see a guy trying to hold onto something that’s not his,” Dawson said. “He’s fighting for something he needs to let go. It’s like when Michael Jordan retired. I believe I’m too big and too strong for Bernard. I pushed the [first] fight. I backed him up.”

Dawson felt so well prepared for the first fight, he went onto say everything his training partners anticipated Hopkins doing came to fruition.

“Everything we knew Bernard was going to, he did,” Dawson explained. “Jab, right-hand, [head-butt] top of the head. Everything we planned on him doing, he did. Bernard made no attempt to engage with me.”

Dawson went as far to say Hopkins tried hard to avoid an immediate rematch. Dawson feels as though Hopkins did all he could to bypass him.

“[Hopkins] tried not to get a rematch with me but it didn’t work in his favor,” Dawson said. “I’m a whip his ass like he’s 25. I’m going to be 30 this year. For boxing, I’m up there. I want to retire when I’m 35.”

Gary Shaw, Dawson’s longtime promoter simply adds fuel to Dawson’s already burning fire.

“Legends don’t pussy out of the fight,” Shaw said of Hopkins. “He can’t fight for twelve rounds. He can’t. We’re about to take him out of his comfort zone. Chad is twice his size. This guy is going to lose. He’s going to lose badly. [Hopkins knows the difference between a Chad Dawson and a Jean Pascal.”

Dawson added: “Anything you do to him could end the fight. A punch on the beltline could take 10 minutes to recover. I believe he can’t help it.”

Aside from all the talk and running of the mouth, Chad Dawson has posted some quality victories. However, the former IBF and WBC light-heavyweight champion hasn’t topped his career-best performance against Antonio Tarver when they first met in October 2008. Dawson’s right jab was beautiful. His movement and ring generalship was flawless. Dawson saw each one of Tarver’s punches and reacted quickly. Dawson even stunned the boxing world with his amazing three-four and five-punch combinations.

Looking at Hopkins’ five losses – Roy Jones, Jr., Joe Calzaghe, and Jermain Taylor (twice) – they were against guys that had quicker hands and better foot-speed than Hopkins. Also, Jones, Calzaghe, and Taylor refused to fight at Hopkins’ tempo the way Pavlik, Pascal, and Tarver foolishly did.

Dawson is going to have to make Hopkins fight at a pace he is uncomfortable fighting. Easier said than done because, Hopkins has made a career out of reducing a fighter’s activity. Hopkins is one of those old-school fighters that know how to take a fighter’s jab, hook, uppercut, or straight-punches away.

It’s going to be a chess match, but Dawson must bring the fight to Hopkins. Otherwise, Hopkins will find away to win – again!!