NEW YORK — Bernard Hopkins basically begged Chad Dawson to help him make their Oct. 15 fight exciting.
Neither fighter regularly engages in entertaining fights and Hopkins understands there’s some skepticism among fight fans as to whether this HBO Pay-Per-View main event will be worth $55.
“I don’t want Chad to be laid back,” Hopkins told Dawson during a press conference at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. “I don’t need you to lay back. To lay back on an old man, it’s not good. He’s doing me a favor. So again, I’m going to give him something to work against me, so I can be better because I’m a great dancer. But if my partner is an OK dancer, it makes me look bad. And then [reporters all] write about the boring fight.
“My last two performances [against Jean Pascal], they loved it. They’ll tell you. Your last performance [against Adrian Diaconu], you showed heart, which you have, and you showed ability. … But now, let’s work together to see who whoops whose ass the worst.”
Hopkins, 46, took more risks than usual during his two most recent fights against Canada’s Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), whom Hopkins toppled May 21 in Montreal to become the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a recognized world title. He’ll make the first defense of his WBC 175-pound championship against Dawson at Staples Center.
Critics have long chastised Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs, 1 NC) for not showing enough aggression and passion in the ring, but the talented former WBC light heavyweight champion promised his fight against Philadelphia’s Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs, 1 NC) won’t be boring.
“I will get aggressive,” said Dawson, of New Haven, Conn. “I have to push the fight. I have to fight that way. I have to take the fight to Bernard. Otherwise, it’s going to be another boring fight, another Bernard and Roy [Jones Jr.], something like that, something so ugly you don’t want to watch it. So I have to push the fight. I’m going into this fight to push the fight. I want this belt. I want the title.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.