By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Chad Dawson has definitely grown tired of hearing Bernard Hopkins speak.
That was pretty much inevitable following press conferences in Los Angeles and New York on back-to-back days. Still, Dawson was noticeably restless as he sat on the dais and listened to Hopkins’ speech at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill.
Among other things, Hopkins, 46, said that comparing resumes with Dawson, 29, is like looking at the accomplishments of a Harvard graduate and a community college student.
Dawson didn’t dwell on much of what Hopkins said, however, and assured anyone that thinks otherwise that boxing’s master of mind games won’t get in his head as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career.
“I don’t fall for that stuff,” Dawson said. “[Antonio] Tarver tried to play the whole mind game. It didn’t work. He had to get in the ring at the end of the night and fight. It didn’t work out. If you saw the rematch, he didn’t say anything. So I squashed that bug.
“Everybody knows Bernard Hopkins. Everybody knows he’s great for the sport. He’s a talker. He talks. That’s what he does. But at the end of the day, he has to get in the ring and he has to fight.”
That won’t happen for another two months. It was time Tuesday to deliver messages before both boxers head to their respective training camps for an Oct. 15 main event at Staples Center in Los Angeles (HBO Pay-Per-View).
Gary Shaw, Dawson’s promoter, guaranteed Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs, 1 NC) during Tuesday’s press conference that Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs, 1 NC) won’t be bothered by Hopkins’ trash talk. Hopkins had some success drawing emotion from Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), before Hopkins out-pointed Pascal on May 21 in Montreal to become the oldest boxer in the sport’s history to win a legitimate world championship.
“Bernard, with all due respect, you’re not getting in Chad’s head,” Shaw said. “It ain’t happening. That’s good for Pascal in Canada. We’re going to be in California, and when the bell rings Chad’s going to jump your ass right from the beginning bell. You know that and your trainer knows that.
“This is not going to be one of those fights where you’re going to hold and grab and whatever. He’s going to be out there, you’re going to be looking at that southpaw and you know how you feel about southpaws, because I’m sure you remember Joe Calzaghe.”
Hopkins lost a 12-round split decision to Wales’ Calzaghe (46-0, 32 KOs) three years ago in Las Vegas, but he has gone 12-1 against southpaws during his 22-year pro career.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.