by Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com spoke with trainer Emanuel Steward to get his thoughts on the upcoming light heavyweight bout between WBC champion Bernard Hopkins and mandatory challenger Chad Dawson, taking place on October 15th at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Initially, Steward was scheduled to train Dawson for the fight. A few weeks ago, an unforeseen event took place when Dawson informed the veteran trainer that he planned to remain in his home state of Connecticut and ruled out a training camp at Steward's Kronk Gym in Detroit.
Because Steward was training other boxers at his Detroit gym, he was unable to train Dawson in Connecticut. They parted ways after working together for one fight. Dawson replaced Steward with a former trainer, located in Connecticut, John Scully.
Thoughts on The Current Relationship With Dawson
The way we left it at, it was very respectful. The guy loves his family and his dogs more than anyone that I've ever met and I have respect for that. He's the type of kid who doesn't look at this fight as some big super event. He loves being at home, close to his kids and he's got a new baby. He wants to be close to the baby. He's got Scully to train him, so he can be right at home. His mind is in a different zone than most fighters.
Thoughts on Dawson's Style of Fighting
Style wise and computer printout wise, the worst style in the world for a Bernard Hopkins. He's left handed, he's fast, has great coordination - everything that an aging fighter don't need. But Bernard is going to be coming in and trying to neutralize all that with his different tricks and maneuvers. In Bernard's case, he brings an entire old school team. He has a full staff of hardcore old school guys, who will study everything to find ways to negate the style of Chad.
Thoughts on Dawson's Capability of Winning The Fight
I don't know if Chad and John Scully fully realize what they are going up against. It's not just the skill level, the size or the youth that's going to win the fight that easy. I give Chad a good chance of winning this fight. The biggest thing going up against [Dawson] is not having that consistent focus, and that's what Bernard is about. Joe Calzaghe is a fighter who stays focused and stays in a rhythm for the whole twelve rounds. He never loses focus. Chad fights in spots, stops and then fights in spots.
But the skill level is a good comparison. In that one round, when he did realize that he was losing to [Jean] Pascal, he opened up and you saw that damage that he did. He was on his way to knocking him out in that one quick round. Bernard has never been on that level to be able to do that, so don't ever underestimate [Dawson's] skill level when he does decide to put his stuff together. When he starts putting punches together, it's blazing and you can hardly even see his punches. And then sometimes he shuts down.