By Keith Idec
Chad Dawson doesn’t mince words when it comes to Bernard Hopkins.
Dawson respects what Hopkins has accomplished, but he is sick of talking about boxing’s oldest champion. He is just as sick of seeing the controversial legend from Philadelphia, so Dawson views his light heavyweight championship rematch against Hopkins on April 28 in Atlantic City as more than just a second chance to prove he is the better fighter.
Dawson intends to send the 47-year-old Hopkins into retirement.
“After training camp, after I put my eight weeks in, and we go into that fight, I know what I can do,” Dawson said. “I know what I’m capable of. I’m not taking shortcuts. I’m not doing all the things just to get by. I’m doing what I’ve got do because I know that I have to take this old man out of this sport. He has to go.”
The 29-year-old Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs, 2 NC) was pleasantly surprised when he learned nearly three months ago that he’d get another shot against Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC). Their first fight ended in infamous fashion Oct. 15 in Los Angeles, but Dawson doesn’t think Hopkins really wanted to fight him again after suffering a shoulder injury that prematurely ended their first encounter in the second round.
“I see a guy that’s trying to hold on to something that’s not his anymore,” Dawson said. “Just like [promoter] Gary [Shaw] said, he’s fighting for that [WBC] belt. He’s not fighting because he [wants to]. Bernard Hopkins is holding on to something that he needs to let go. It’s like Michael Jordan when he retired and came back.
“Bernard never retired and never came back, but there comes a point when these young guys are going to overtake you. There’s going to come a point where guys are going to be too big and too strong for you. This is that point right here. This is the case right here. I believe I’m too big and too strong. He saw it that night.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.