by David P. Greisman
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (Dawson): “I just think that Chad has a lot of youth, and the experience goes to Bernard, but youth, speed, and all the rest of the stuff goes to Chad. You know, boxing is a young man’s sport. There’s very few people that can take it to another level when they get to a certain age. But I think Bernard already took it another level by beating Pascal, so I don’t think he can go no higher.
“I see a comfortable unanimous decision. Chad is going to use his jab. From what little I saw in the first fight, he looked good. He was doing what he had to do. He showed Bernard that he’s the stronger person, and Bernard felt that strength when Chad picked him up and did whatever he had to do with him. Right then and there, Bernard knows that this kid is not as weak as he thought he was.”
Sam Garcia (Dawson): “I think Dawson wins. Obviously he’s younger and athletic, and I think after what happened the last fight, he’s extremely motivated. I think he’ll just be too athletic, a little too fast and a little too young. [Dawson wins] by unanimous decision. I think it’s going to be very difficult to knock out Hopkins. I think he should be able to win a decisive decision.”
Henry Ramirez (Dawson): “I ‘m actually thinking Chad Dawson. I just think youth, overall boxing ability, hand speed, I just think he’s going to win. He’ll outwork Bernard Hopkins. Obviously Bernard’s a wily vet and can make things difficult for anybody, but I just think with Chad Dawson being younger, quicker, more athletic, I just think he’ll win a decision.”
Ronnie Shields (Dawson): “I think Chad Dawson wins on a late stoppage. Just watching the last fight, I just think he’s got Bernard’s number. He knows that he has to pressure Bernard and he has to make him fight, and that’s what he was doing when that sudden thing happened. I like Chad. Chad is young, he’s strong, and I just think Chad is the better fighter.
“[Question: What makes you think Hopkins will be stopped for the first time ever?] His age, I think it’s finally caught up with him. Looking at the last fight, I didn’t think he was ready for Chad Dawson. I didn’t think he was ready for the pressure that Chad was putting on him, and I know he wasn’t going to go 12 hard rounds like that. So I think Chad has to get started early in the fight, he can’t plan to let Bernard mess around and try to be coming in and stalling the fight and all this stuff. He’s just got to go straight at him, I feel, and I just think he’s going to be too much.”
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]