by David P. Greisman
HBO’s unofficial ringside judge, Harold Lederman, is in Atlantic City for the April 28 rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson.
Lederman spoke briefly with BoxingScene.com the day before about what he expects for Hopkins-Dawson 2.
BoxingScene.com: How do you see the fight between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson going?
Lederman: “I think it’s going to be an outstanding fight.”
BoxingScene.com (interrupting): Really?!
Lederman: “Yeah, I think it’s going to be a real good fight. Chad’s mad from what happened the first time, and I can’t blame him. Bernard always comes to fight. Bernard’s interesting — he’s tricky, hard to fight, an experienced older guy. He’s always in shape. So I think it’s going to be a good fight. I’m looking forward to a very good fight. I’m anticipating a good fight.”
BoxingScene.com: You say all this despite the first two rounds being what they were in the first fight.
Lederman: “Hey, you know, I think it’s more reason why [tonight is] going to be a good fight, because of the fact that they know each other and know what to expect. I mean, Chad Dawson’s really upset about what happened and everything. He feels he should be the champion. He feels he should be moving on, and you can’t blame him.
“Bernard, on the other hand, is a very experienced, tough guy, and he doesn’t want a loss on his record. He’s going to come to fight. Therefore I think it’s going to be a better fight than most people anticipate. I just think that, you know, it’s two guys who knows how to fight, Chad with those big wins over guys like Antonio Tarver and Tomasz Adamek, a real experienced guy; and Bernard, nobody knows boxing better than Bernard Hopkins.
“I’m anticipating a good show [tonight]. I think the first fight’s going to be a real barnburner with Chazz Witherspoon and Seth Mitchell, two of the good, young, outstanding heavyweights, at least in the United States right now, so I think that’s going to be a very good fight. All in all, I think it’s going to be a good doubleheader.”
BoxingScene.com: Do you predict a war or more of a tactical fight between Hopkins and Dawson?
Lederman: “Well, it could turn into a war. I think it’s going to be a tactical fight early on, but if it goes past five rounds I think it’s going to turn into a war, yes. I think these guys want to take control of the fight, and therefore it could turn into a war, yes.”
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]