Boxing


Hopkins vs. Dawson: It needs to happen

By John Brady - As Teddy Atlas constantly reminds us, you can’t compare today’s fighters to those of the twenties through fifties. This was considered the “Golden Era” of boxing. It was not unusual for fighters to have over two hundred fights under their belt, and most importantly the BEST FOUGHT THE BEST! If we were still living in this era I would have no reason to write this article because these two warriors would wind up fighting each other on their own. Unfortunately we do NOT live in the “Golden Era” of boxing anymore and today’s fighters occasionally need somewhat of a nudge in order for the best to fight the best..

Bernard Hopkins will never have over two hundred fights to his credit but in recent history he has been the epitome of taking on impossible challenges and making 43 look like 23. That’s an accomplishment I’ve never seen in any era or in any other sport including today. Hopkins is a student of the game as evidenced when stating that he emulated “Jersey” Joe Walcott’s style during his 12 round demolition of Kelly Pavlik. Just when B-Hop gets all the fans despising him, he immediately makes those same fans fall right back in love with him. After dropping two straight decisions to Jermain Taylor, Hopkins gave up his Middleweight Belt and his consecutive defense streak halted at 20. Just when we were going to lose confidence in the 40 year old Hopkins, he immediately jumps up two weight divisions and dominated southpaw Antonio Tarver for the Light Heavyweight Title, amazing. Right after he tells Joe Calzaghe that he’ll “never lose to a white boy” in a fight which Calzaghe won a razor thin decision, what does he do? He redeems himself by pulverizing the invincible Kelly Pavlik in a twelve round beat down. Bernard can hang up his gloves right now and not one fan with a shred of knowledge will be able to deny his one way ticket to Canastota. Something’s wrong though. Bernard is NOT hanging up his gloves. He still wants one more fight. The problem is there’s only ONE man out there worthy of a B-Hop matchup and sadly he is being ducked. That man’s name is Chad Dawson.

Dawson is undeniably the best at 175. He dominated Tarver just as B-Hop did. He also defeated former Tarver conqueror Eric Harding, survived a war with Glen Johnson, and he is the lone man to defeat Tomasz Adamek. Hopkins on the other hand never fought a true 175 pounder after Tarver. B-Hop was recently chasing a fight with Adamek up at Cruiserweight. I say why jump to another weight division when there’s still unfinished business in the one you’re in. Another source of fuel Hopkins can use is that Adamek’s only loss is to Bad Chad. Why fight the loser when you can fight the winner? Dawson vs. Hopkins makes perfect sense especially listening to Hopkins state his prerequisites for a fight. Hopkins says for his last fight he needs something to get him motivated; well this fight would be between Ring Magazine #1 and #2 ranked Light Heavyweights therefore resulting in a new champ filling the void left by Calzaghe. He also says he needs a challenge; Chad Dawson is a major challenge, he’s the only man standing in the way of you calling yourself the best Light Heavyweight in the world. Not to mention you will have a good chance to give another young undefeated lion his first loss, especially with your lone defeat to a southpaw coming controversially at the hands of Joe Calzaghe. The last demand for his final fight is that is has to make “business” sense which as you know means he wants to make as much money as possible. This of course I can understand. One thing I will say though to the Hopkins’, Shanes’, Pavliks’, Pacquiaos’ and Floyds’ of the world is that your final fight should be not so much for yourself, but giving back to the sport of boxing. Of course it should make business sense but the matchup should be meaningful, and after tonight’s fight nothing in or around the Light Heavyweight division will be more meaningful than Hopkins vs. Dawson.

Article posted on 10.05.2009



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