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 Last update:  2/15/2012       Read more by Keith Idec         
   
HBO's New Prez Discusses The Hopkins-Dawson Rematch
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By Keith Idec

It took a couple weeks from the time Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson agreed to contractual terms for their rematch for their promoters to finalize a deal to televise the fight on HBO.

That was a mere formality, according to new HBO Sports president Ken Hershman, because he was always in favor of televising Hopkins-Dawson II on the network. Hershman suspects some of the public backlash against their WBC light heavyweight championship rematch stems from the controversial conclusion to their first fight Oct. 15 in Los Angeles, but he expects it to draw strong ratings on April 28 from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

A lot of people have strong opinions, apparently, about that fight, Hershman said. I look at it like that I know Bernard Hopkins is a ratings draw, for sure. Hes one of the living legends in the sport, he has accomplished amazing things. And people like to watch Bernard Hopkins. The ratings bear that out, wherever hes fought, whoever hes fought. And hes also not somebody whos going to shy away from somebody of the talent level of Chad Dawson, whos far younger, far faster at this juncture of his career. And I think its a real testament.

Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC), a Philadelphia native who turned 47 last month, is 17 years old than Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs, 2 NC).

The industry should be celebrating an athlete whos willing to [fight Dawson] at this point in his career, Hershman continued. Hes not sitting there, saying, Im 40-whatever and theres no way Im fighting Chad Dawson. Hes like, Ill fight Chad Dawson. Whatever. So to me, I think its something that should be celebrated and I think itll do really well for the network. So Im bullish on the fight. There was a lot of controversy the first time, and whatever you want to say about their styles, maybe itll surprise us, maybe itll be a stinker in the ring. But something interesting is going to happen in that fight and I think the viewers will like it.

There wasnt much to like about their first fight. After a first round that completely lacked action, Dawson hurled Hopkins off his back following an unusual clinch in the second round. Hopkins said he couldnt continue because he suffered a left shoulder injury during his fall to the canvas.

Referee Pat Russell ruled Dawson a winner by second-round technical knockout, but the California State Athletic Commission later declared the fight a no-contest.

The 29-year-old Dawson, of New Haven, Conn., claims the oldest boxer ever to win a recognized world title faked his injury to get out of what was sure to be a difficult fight at Staples Center. Despite the controversy and the inconclusive nature of their first fight, the response among fight fans to talk of an immediate rematch was mixed.

I think its a little bit of [what happened in the first fight], Hershman said. I think its a little bit of this Chad Dawson effect. I think that theres, for whatever reason, a feeling like, you know, that he is not an interesting figure in the ring, with his fighting style. So I think its a little bit of that. But I counter that with, you know, its Bernard Hopkins and how long can this go on? Its mind-blowing to me and I want to see what happens.

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.

Tags: HBO , Bernard Hopkins , Chad Dawson , Hopkins vs Dawson , Hopkins-Dawson



 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by chaos, on 02-15-2012
"maybe it'll be a stinker in the ring" Gee ya think?

comment by Ringlife, on 02-15-2012
I am glad that this fight is on HBO good job new prez.

comment by rockhead44, on 02-15-2012
You get HBO for free?

comment by WESS, on 02-15-2012
It's free, that is all that matters!

comment by RoyJonesJrp4pno1, on 02-15-2012
Hopkins is boring as hell. Im sure the ratings will be low. Hopkins' act is played out. Talk loads of ****, then hold, run, foul, feint, everything to get out of a fight.

Post A Comment/View More User Comments (7) 

   
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