By Alexander Pavlov
Undefeated light heavyweight contender Ismayl Sillakh (17-0, 14KOs) believes Chad Dawson will defeat Bernard Hopkins in Saturday's rematch in Atlantic City. Sillakh returns on Friday night against fellow unbeaten Russian boxer Denis Grachev (11-0-1, 7KOs). Sillakh and Grachev actually sparred with each other in the past.
Sillakh, like Dawson, doesn't believe Hopkins actually injured his shoulder in the second round of the first fight. Sillakh is the top rated contender and plans to fight the winner.
"I hope that this time there will be no tricks from Hopkins. I think Dawson should easily win, and then he will refuse to fight the number one ranked contender, which is me. Hopefully, he will not run away from me. Although it will not be easy [to get that fight]. Once again they might start unifying belts, and so on," he said.
"I think that Hopkins is unlikely to win. The first fight showed that he had no chance. But he is so clever and experienced, that maybe he'll surprise us. We have to wait and see."
Alexander Pavlov covers boxing for Sportbox.ru