by David P. Greisman
There was a time when Chad Dawson was the young light heavyweight titleholder in a division full of experienced big names — none of whom were fighting him.
But Dawson has since had two bouts with Glen Johnson, two bouts with Antonio Tarver and now has had two bouts with Bernard Hopkins.
The Hopkins fights were something Dawson’s camp long desired, according to Dawson’s promoter, Gary Shaw.
“This has been a long hard road. We chased Bernard Hopkins for a good three and a half or four years, and every time I thought I had a fight made for Chad, they pulled out,” Shaw said at the post-fight press conference following Dawson’s win Saturday over Hopkins. “It was always the next fight — ‘If Chad beats this guy, then I’ll fight him.’
“And that takes us to California, where we fought the other fight for two rounds. Obviously it didn’t end in a fan-pleasing way. It certainly didn’t end in a way that Chad Dawson wanted it to end. He wanted to fight, and Hopkins didn’t want to do the fight. So here we are today, with the new light heavyweight champion of the world, a guy that fought and took the fight to Bernard Hopkins, that ate a lot of hip punches, and if you watch the replay, I don’t know how many, but I saw at least eight major punches to Chad’s hip, the head butts and everything else.”
Later on, Shaw made sure to praise Hopkins — and to put the critical comments he’d made about him in context.
“I do want to say one thing — we have the world of respect for Bernard Hopkins,” Shaw said. “This was a promotion. We said a lot of things. Chad said things. I definitely said a lot of things. And I know Bernard knows, you do what you have to do to promote a fight, to get a big gate, to get a lot of people, but he’s a true Hall of Famer, he’s truly one of the greatest fighters. I never had the honor of promoting him, but for sure he knows I’m a huge fan of his, and I have the utmost respect. … He could probably beat most everybody else out there.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]