Boxing


Hopkins-Dawson II - Could The End Be Nigh For “The Executioner?”

By James Slater: As reported by Ringtv.com, living legend and reigning world light-heavyweight king Bernard Hopkins cut an angry figure during a 30-minute round table interview session with selected members of the media in Atlantic City yesterday.

The amazing 47-year-old was of course speaking about his rematch this Saturday night with Chad Dawson; the man who fouled him and wound up losing to him back in October of last year. But Hopkins by and large spoke about himself, not so much the upcoming rematch.

“I’m the last of a f*****g dying breed,” Hopkins stated forcefully. “When you guys want to write something, you write that. I’m the last of a f*****b dying breed. That’s what I am. That’s the headlines. I’m the last of a f*****g dying breed.”

Hopkins obviously enjoyed stating the expletive-laden fact again and again. And it’s true, Hopkins is, along with arguably James Toney, the only old-school fighter still on top (or close to it) today. B-Hop, though, is really up against it against “Bad” Chad. The experts have written Hopkins off before, as we know, and the Philly master has made them eat their words so many times he must have lost count. Still, there aren’t too many people giving B-Hop much more than an outside chance of winning on Saturday night.

Dawson, who spoke to the media earlier in the day, believes he has too much physical strength for Hopkins and that he was bullying the future Hall of Famer in the near-two rounds their first fight lasted. And a number of experts agree with the tall southpaw. Hopkins is often a slow starter, therefore we do not know whether or not the light-heavyweight champ would have come on in the middle and later rounds had he not been body slammed to the mat in the 2nd. But going by what we saw that October night (and it wasn’t much), it didn’t look like it.

The end has to come some time for the incredible boxer who has spat in Father Time’s eye so many times, and it could come tomorrow night against Dawson. Those that do not think so have a tough time coming up with a scenario whereby Hopkins manages to win. A KO looks out of the question (after all, when was the last time B-Hop stopped a foe? Way back in 2004, against Oscar De La Hoya, with a body shot), and Hopkins out-working the younger, faster, taller, physically stronger man looks almost as doubtful. How then can Hopkins pull it off?

Back when the first fight was announced, I picked Hopkins due to the belief that he would be way to mentally strong for Dawson; a fighter who was out-muscled and taken out of his game-plan in his first fight with another canny veteran in Glen Johnson - with Johnson appearing the winner to many after the hard-fought 12-rounder. But Dawson took the fight right to Hopkins, backed his man up and showed he was not in the slightest bit intimidated. I cannot see Hopkins, a master of psychology, getting inside Dawson’s head this time around, either.

I can see 29-year-old Dawson picking up where he left off; forcing the older man to work hard as he pushes him back and goes to work with his right jab and his long-limbed combinations. Body shots could prove to be a key weapon for Dawson also. Hopkins won’t go without a fight, and it’s unlikely he will get stopped. But Dawson looks like a clear points winner for me.

Of course, if Hopkins does somehow manage to defy the odds, his age and a fine young opponent once again, we will all owe the 47-year-old a heartfelt apology. Also, we’ll have to stop referring to Hopkins as a great fighter. The “experts” calling him An ALL-TIME great fighter might just be close to enough to appease a triumphant, animated Hopkins.

Article posted on 27.04.2012



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