Hopkins defends WBC title vs. Dawson

By By Francis Walker BASN Boxing writer
Updated: October 11, 2011

Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson

Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson

NEW YORK,NY (BASN)—Bernard Hopkins made history in May by defeating Jean Pascal in a rematch to become boxing history’s oldest world champion at age 46. In defense of the WBC light-heavyweight championship, Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) plans to become the oldest fighter to successfully retain his title when he meets No. 1-ranked Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs).

” Hopkins vs.

Dawson: Believe It or Not,” will be aired live on HBO Pay-Per-view beginning at 9 PM/ET.

“In today’s world where, unfortunately, most athletes, either don’t stay as focused long enough after they get a taste of what we call success in life, or just run into the wrong match, the wrong person.,” Hopkins said. “So I’m going to have fun in the second half of my life.”

Hopkins has had an amazing career, as he continues to defy father-time by fighting effectively well past his prime. When Hopkins legendary record of 20 consecutive successful defenses of the world middleweight championship ended following a pair of decision losses to Jermain Taylor in 2005, Hopkins opted to not take the high road by winding down his career.

“I chose to continue to fight and defend what I worked so hard to get,” Hopkins said. “So why not get all of the benefits of what I’ve been doing for 20-something years and then walk away when it’s time?”

Instead, Hopkins moved-up from the middleweight limit of 160 to the light-heavyweight mark of 175. Many may argue that what Hopkins has done as a light-heavyweight overshadows his achievements as world middleweight champion.

Hopkins moved up to the light-heavyweight ranks in June 2006 and defeated Antonio Tarver during a time Tarver as the hottest 175-pounder in the world.

Hopkins scored a unanimous decision after out-boxing Tarver through twelve one-sided rounds.

That was only the beginning.

Hopkins out-boxed Winky Wright (2007), derailed the Kelly Pavlik Express (2008) in worse fashion than he did against Tarver, avenged a 1993 loss to Roy Jones, Jr. (2010) and it took him two fights to dethrone Pascal for the WBC 175-pound title. The only fighter to have defeated Hopkins was Joe Calzaghe in 2008. Calzaghe survived an early knockdown and walked away with a split-decision before retiring undefeated against Jones later that year.

What Hopkins did in his two fights against Pascal was astounding. The much younger and faster Pascal wasn’t in Hopkins’ league in terms of skills, experience, and genuine toughness.

Hopkins has the mental toughness that makes you want to say ‘this guy is truly a tough, tough dude.’

Dawson once displayed flashes of greatness when he put on a boxing clinic against Tarver when they fought the first time on October 2008.

Dawson’s three-four-punch combinations were crisp and his performance was flawless.

But that was three years ago and Dawson hasn’t looked sharp since. He struggled in rematches with Tarver and Glen Johnson, who many thought beat Dawson when they fought in Florida the first time in 2008. In 2010, Dawson made Pascal look like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Roy Jones, Jr. all rolled into one. The way Pascal was hitting Dawson senseless was astounding because, Pascal, a good boxer, isn’t a whirl beater.

Dawson‘s 12-round decision against Adrian Diaconu on the historic Hopkins vs.

Dawson 2 undercard was simply boring. That’s a disappointment considering it was Dawson’t first and only fight under Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward, who recently left the Dawson camp a few weeks ago.

Advantage Hopkins!

“I’m coming in there with an aggressive game, but a smart game,” Hopkins added. “If people think that the last two fights of my career were the old Bernard Hopkins from the Blue Horizon to Atlantic City days in the early 90’s, then I’m saying that they should watch this fight.”

Hopkins added: “The bottom line is they are going to see a better, a more aggressive, smart fighter in me when I beat Chad Dawson.”

Kessler injures hand

Mikkel Kessler’s ‘hotly-anticipated’ November 5, bout with WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz at PARKEN Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark has been postponed until the first quarter of 2012. Apparently, Kessler suffered a hand injury while training which prompted a cancellation of the bout.

“This is a major disappointment for me,” Kessler said in a statement. “We’ve had a great preparation and I was in fantastic shape when I injured my right hand during a routine training session. The doctors advised me that it needs a rest and I can´t fight on November 5. I am very sorry to keep my fans waiting. The good news is that the injury should heal quickly after a little break. I will rest my hand and then get back to training to be fit for Stieglitz early next year.”

The cancellation ruined SHOWTIME’s plans to air the fight, via tape-delay along with Lucian Bute’s IBF super middleweight title defense against Glen Johnson from Quebec City, Canada. SHOWTIME will resume with their plan to air Bute-Johnson, but only as a one-fight telecast.

Rodriguez vs. Rosinsky on ShoBox

Undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (19-0, 14 KOs) has re-united with former trainer Ronnie Shields and the two are working at Shield’s training facility in Houston, TX. Rodriguez and Shields are hard at work in preparation for fellow unbeaten 168-pound prospect, Will Rosinsky (14-0, 8 KOs).

Rodriguez vs. Rosinsky will be aired live on ShoBox: The New Generation from the MGM Grand Garden at Foxwoods, Friday, October 21, live on SHOWTIME beginning at 11 PM/.ET.

“I am thrilled to be back in Houston with my trainer, Ronnie Shields,” Rodriguez said. “I had a great three weeks sparring with Chad Dawson, and came to camp in tremendous shape. Ronnie and I have been working on a game plan for our upcoming bout against Will Rosinsky. I cannot wait to show the world how much I have improved under Ronnie.”

With world rankings of #5 IBF, #6 WBC, #8 WBA, and #12 WBO, Rodriguez could earn a world title fight soon if he can surpass the Will Rosinsky test. The New Yorker was a former four-time New York Golden Gloves winner and a United States amateur boxing champion at 178 pounds.

December is Klitschko Time!

Earlier his year Wladimir Klitschko said that David Haye would be his ’50th knockout’ victim. While Klitschko soundly defeated Haye in front of 50,000 people in Germany to unify the IBF/WBO and WBA/Ring Magazine heavyweight titles in July, that landmark knockout eluded him.

Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) will have another opportunity to earn that ‘5oth knockout’ in 60 professional fights when he defends his world heavyweight championship belts against former unified cruiserweight titlist, 39 year-old Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) of France. The bout will occur on Saturday, December 10, at ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.

ESPIRIT Arena is the site where Klitschko pummeled Eddie Chambers before pressing for a spectacular twelfth-round knockout in March 2010.

“I am very happy to return to the ESPRIT Arena where I fought against Eddie Chambers,” Klitschko said on his website www.klitschko.com. “The spectators and the atmosphere for that fight were great and I am sure it will be again this time.”

While there was talk of Klitschko wanting “an opponent” to conclude his fight schedule for the remainder of the year, he isn’t underestimating Mormeck, a veteran of eight world title fights.

“I know that I am the favorite in all my fights but I also know that each opponent is motivated to be in the best shape ever when he fights me,” Klitschko added. “Mormeck is one of the most experienced fighters I have ever faced. He has had many world title fights, has a very good technique, can take a lot of punches and is very intelligent inside the ring. To underestimate him would be a fatal mistake.”

Mormeck at 5′ 10,” will have an extremely difficult time surpassing the left-jab, straight-right of the 6′ 7,” Klitschko. In recent fights, namely the Haye and Samuel Peter rematch, Klitschko is noticeably throwing more uppercuts and left hook. Klitschko’s best punch is arguably his left hook which he seldom uses. When he uses his left hook, no heavyweight in the world can withstand its power, speed, and precision.

In addition, Mormeck has a history of having horrible stamina. Just watch his two fights with O’Neil Bell both in New York and in France to see just how badly Mormeck faded down the stretch. Although Mormeck is 3-0 since moving up to heavyweight following his 2007 defeat to Haye, the Frenchman has been in active ands stands little chance of upsetting Klitschko.