Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Dawson: I’m Looking To Beat Hopkins In Great Fashion

By Jake Donovan

Chad Dawson pursued Bernard Hopkins for more than three years. His reward for waiting so long was a night that didn’t even last two rounds in a fight that doesn’t count in the record books.

A lethargic first round gave way to a wrestling match in the second round. The fight ended with a clinch gone awry. Hopkins’ body was draped over Dawson’s back, causing the former light heavyweight titlist to react by nudging the division’s current king off of him. Hopkins stumbled and fell to the canvas, landing on his elbow and claiming a shoulder injury that left him unable to continue.

Dawson was originally declared a TKO winner that evening, a ruling that left him as the lineal light heavyweight champion. The honor lasted about two months before the California State Athletic Commission overturned referee Pat Russell’s decision from that evening (with Russell himself testifying that he made the wrong call after reviewing the fight), making the fight a no-contest.

Hopkins remains the light heavyweight champion as he heads into Saturday’s rematch with Dawson at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ever the optimist, Dawson views it as a blessing in disguise.

“It was a good thing - not a great thing - that the fight didn’t go past the second round,” Dawson suggests of their anticlimactic light heavyweight championship fight last October. “I didn’t really break a sweat, so we got a chance to get back into camp and go back to work.”

Dawson is correct in viewing the sequel as a way to right a serious wrong. Their first fight last October was a disaster in every imaginable way. Both Dawson and Hopkins are based in the East Coast, as were most of the fighters on the undercard. Yet the event handlers saw it wise to stage the show more than 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles and on pay-per-view, despite neither fighter being a draw.

The rematch is being staged where it belongs – on the East Coast, where more than 7,000 fans are expected on fight night. HBO televises the event, rather than once again going the pay-per-view route.

All that’s left is for an actual fight to take place. Dawson can’t vouch for his opponent, but on his end promises the performance of a lifetime.

“I have every advantage. I got the fire in my eyes and people saw that at the last fight,” Dawson believes. “I really wanted to go out and I really wanted to beat Bernard Hopkins. Bernard had other plans. I'm going to keep saying this; Bernard did not want to be in the ring with me that night. 

“Maybe he undertrained and he didn't expect to see what he saw that night.  Maybe he needed more time to get in better shape.  I don't know, but I'm here and I'm for real and I'm coming to fight.”

Dawson’s reaction in his 2011 campaign to the lone loss of his career showed a different side than has been showcased in the past several years. A dominant – though off-the-canvas – win over Tomasz Adamek in 2007 had the young southpaw pegged as a can’t-miss heir to the heavyweight throne.

Somewhere along the way, Dawson lost sight of what led him near the top. Two fights each with aged veterans Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver saw a fighter who appeared too comfortable with what he had already achieved. The truth was that the fighter was stuck between styles and struggling to figure out how he managed to reach that state.

It took for his points loss to Jean Pascal two years ago in Canada for Dawson to realize that he had drifted too far from the blazing young talent he once was. A comeback win over Adrian Diaconu last May was a step in the right direction, an industry-wide reminder that there was still plenty of life left in the 29-year southpaw.

There was still one more step to take before the journey came full circle.

The constant in Dawson’s boxing life going as far back as when he was 12 years was the man who guided his career. John Scully – once himself a former light heavyweight contender – made the seamless transition from fighter to trainer, taking on young talent in the New England area.

Chief among them was Dawson, who went through his amateur career and into his pro career with Scully before playing the game of musical trainers. There was no shortage of knowledge surrounding the Connecticut native through the years. In no particular order, top trainers such as Dan Birmingham, Floyd Mayweather Sr., Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Emanuel Steward all had their swing at teaching Dawson the sport from their own varying perspectives.

For a while it was good enough to win – until it wasn’t. Dawson eventually realized this and decided it was time to finally go back home, bringing in Scully prior to his first fight with Hopkins last year.

“I wanted to become myself again,” Dawson admits. “Me being with so many different trainers, I think that kind of derailed my own style and going all of these different ways. One trainer wanted me to work on this and another trainer thinks I'm better at this so I should be working on that.
 
“Well Scully is different because Scully knows all of my strengths. So we add to that. I've known Scully since I was 12. I sparred with him when I was coming up younger, earlier in my career. So Scully knows me. He knows everything about me. We've been in the ring together. So he knows my strengths and he knows my weaknesses. So we had the chance to work on all of those things.”

Though the five or so minutes that their fight lasted didn’t quite serve as the truest indicator, more than a few observers believed that the Dawson of old was on hand to contend with an old Hopkins.

There exists the suggestion that Dawson had that old fire in his eyes. The fighter himself insists he saw something entirely different when staring down his opponent.

“I looked into Bernard's eyes that night and Bernard did not want to be in the ring that night,” Dawson believes. “He may tell you otherwise and (Golden Boy CEO) Richard Schaefer may say otherwise but I'm telling you, Bernard didn't want to be in the ring that night.
 
“Like I said, maybe he undertrained and he underestimated me.  Maybe he needed a little more time to get in a little better shape.  Maybe that's what he did by taking the rematch.  He wanted to get in better shape than he came into that fight, but he didn't have that fire that night.”

Dawson isn’t counting on that same Hopkins to show up on Saturday. Instead, he expects the version that has terrorized the sport for more than two decades, the one that is Hall-of-Fame bound.

Anticipating the best possible version of boxing legend is undoubtedly the best way to be prepared for a fight. Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.

What Dawson would like the industry to ready themselves for is the dawning of a new day more than three years in the making. A cherry on top would be to become the one to hand Hopkins his first ever stoppage loss.

“That would be a big statement to make,” Dawson states. “Due to the fact that he's never been knocked out before, I can't say that I'm going in there looking for the knockout. I had a great training camp. We've been in training camp seven weeks already and everything's been great. We've worked on a lot of different things.
 
We know Bernard is not going to come in the same fighter he was the last fight. We know he's a little stronger than he was the last fight. I hope Bernard comes to fight. He took the fight. He wanted the fight. So hopefully we'll be fighting on the 28th and we'll get our fans their money's worth.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by SpeedKillz on 04-27-2012

[quote=cja07007;12049950]TEAM DAWSON is going to take of of business.[/quote] they probly will, but they gotta wait and see whats on the drawing board after they lose this fight

Comment by cja07007 on 04-27-2012

TEAM DAWSON is going to take of of business.

Comment by Scary on 04-27-2012

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;12048974]By Jake Donovan - Chad Dawson pursued Bernard Hopkins for more than three years. His reward for waiting so long was a night that didn’t even last two rounds in a fight that doesn’t count in the record books. A…

Comment by Hagler★ on 04-27-2012

Not gonna happen, nobody looks 'great' beat Hopkins. I hope Hopkins beats him but he didn't look great last time out even if it was just a few rounds.

Comment by Bushbaby on 04-27-2012

Good luck with that...................................not!!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (13)
Top Headlines Crolla: I Need To Drag Linares Into a Fight, Rough Him Up Hunter: I Told Amir Khan That Fighting Canelo Was Stupid, Crazy Investigation is Under Way After 17-Year-old Amateur Dies Jorge Linares 'Feels at Home' Fighting Crolla in The UK Crolla: I'll Prove A Lot of People Wrong in Linares Rematch Jorge Linares' Trainer Details Preparation For Crolla Rematch Jorge Linares-Anthony Crolla II: Pre-Fight Report Card Chavez: After I Win, If No Canelo Rematch Then I'll Face Golovkin Jacobs' Manager Questions Scoring of Golovkin-Jacobs Fight! David Haye Called In By BBBofC, Must Explain Bellew Threats Frank Warren Jabs Hearn: Talks Golovkin-Saunders, Crolla-Linares Eddie Hearn Passed On Michael Conlan Signing Loeffler: Too Much Money For Canelo-Golovkin Not To Happen Joshua, Bellew Are Backing Crolla To Get Revenge on Linares HBO's Kellerman Breaks Down Mayweather-McGregor Situation Martin Gethin Aims To Expose Experience Gaps in Jack Catterall Is GGG Losing Spunk or Was Jacobs as Crafty as He Appeared? Brace Yourself for the Real Possibility of Canelo-Lemieux in September Juan Manuel Marquez Could Name Date, Opponent Next Week Vasyl Lomachenko is Not Taking Jason Sosa Lightly Guillermo Rigondeaux's Adviser Explains Current Career Status Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui in Play For May 20 Loeffler Confirms Golovkin-Jacobs Did About 170K PPV Buys Photos: Nico Hernandez vs. Patrick Gutierrez - Official Weigh-In De La Hoya: Golovkin a Big Star? Why Does He Sell 100-200K on PPV? Photos: Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Francisco Contreras - Official Weigh-In Christopher Martin Shocks Daniel Franco, TKO in Three Josh Taylor Overcomes Cut, Stops Warren Joubert In Six Photos: Jorge Paez Jr. vs. Daniel Sandoval - Official Weigh-In Mikey Garcia Will Go To 140 in 2018, Unless Lomachenko Comes Conrad Cummings Stops Gogi Knezevic, Picks Up WBO Regional Shumenov vs. Dorticos Headed To April 29 in Las Vegas Liam Williams: Liam Smith Will Be in For a Rude Awakening Nacho Admits Surprise at Chavez's Hard Work For Canelo Fight Chocolatito: To Win, I Have To Knock Sor Rungvisai Out Rematch! Ray Robinson Returns To The Fillmore in Philadelphia Barthelemy vs. Relikh WBA Eliminator is Ordered Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley Added To Berto vs. Porter Card Photos: Tyron Zeuge vs. Isaac Ekpo - Official Weigh-In Crolla: I'm in The Best Shape of My Life For Linares Rematch
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement