The April 28 showdown at Boardwalk Hall pits Philly native Bernard Hopkins against ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson. Interview with Dawson.
When Bernard Hopkins faced Chad Dawson this past October at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the result was one of the most bizarre endings to a championship boxing match seen in quite sometime.
During a clinch, Hopkins leaned onto the back of Dawson, prompting Dawson to push him off. As Hopkins flew backwards and onto the mat, he subsequently landed hard enough that he began grabbing his shoulder and grimacing in pain.
Asked by the referee if he could continue, Hopkins replied, “My shoulder popped out.” Asked yet again if he could continue, as he winced Hopkins replied, “With one arm.” The responses forced experienced referee Pat Russell to halt the contest, and because he saw no foul, award a second round TKO victory in favor of Chad Dawson.
After filing a protest with both the California Commission as well as the WBC, the initial decision was later changed to a No-Contest, and Hopkins was subsequently given back his title.
The defending champion blames dirty tactics by Dawson as the reason for the fall and injury, while Dawson has steadfastly accused Hopkins of faking the injury to get out of having to continue with the contest.
The rematch this Saturday (April 28) in Atlantic City is being called “Hopkins vs. Dawson — Once and for all,” because after six months of back and forth finger pointing and accusations, all the talk finally comes to an end when the former undisputed middleweight and current WBC and Ring magazine light heavyweight champion and Philadelphia native, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, 52-5-2 (32 KOs), again puts it all on the line when he defends his belts against former light heavyweight champion, “Bad” Chad Dawson, 30-1 (17 KOs), from New Haven, Conn., live at Boardwalk Hall.
Dawson, a former IBF and WBC 175lb champion, who normally in his career has taken the low-key approach, has been more vocal than ever before when talking about what he brings to the table, and what to expect on fight night.
“Oh you will see the old Chad Dawson for sure. It will be the Chad Dawson that’s exciting, explosive with head punches, along with plenty of combinations. It’s the Dawson that Hopkins won’t be able to handle. I just have to let my hands go. I wanted to do that the first fight, but as you saw, he found a way out.”
Hopkins, who has put on some boxing clinics at Boardwalk Hall against fighters like Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik, has taken a different approach during the build-up to this rematch, but did say, “They just don’t want to give me the credit. But I’m on something else right now and that something else is even greater than what I’ve done in the last 10-15 years, believe it or not, and I’ve done a lot of great things. April 28th is going to be something that you’re all gonna be saying, ‘Man!’ I’m gonna rewrite the book.”
In boxing, every fighter has had their bouts with delusions of grandeur at some point, but the accomplishments of Bernard Hopkins are undisputed. Dawson has been to the mountaintop, but in order to ultimately be seen as a great fighter, he must face and beat great fighters. The opportunity is at hand on April 28 for him to seize the moment. It will either be a true passing of the guard or a younger fighter’s lesson in respecting his elders.
Either way, fight fans can sit back and enjoy this legitimate grudge match to remember.
This all important 12-round light heavyweight championship match-up at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City is presented by Golden Boy Promotions along with Gary Shaw Productions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Caesars Atlantic City.
Hopkins vs. Dawson, along with the co-main event, Seth Mitchell vs. Chazz Witherspoon will be shown live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing at 10:15pm.
Hopkins vs. Dawson
Where: Boardwalk Hall
When: Saturday, April 28, 6:30pm
How Much: $300, $200, $100, $50 & $25
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE AT ACWEEKLY.COM
Interview With “Bad” Chad Dawson
There's nothing more frustrating than wanting to be seen as the very best, but having opportunity elude you. For years now Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins has reigned high on the pound-for-pound lists of anyone who voices their opinion. He has beat many well known fighters during a storied career, establishing him as one of the best to step into the ring.
"Bad" Chad Dawson, 30-1, while holding championship belts during his career, has bided his time for the opportunity to not only be seen as the best in the light heavyweight division, but also show that he has the tools to beat the likes of Hopkins and whoever stands in the way of his own pound-for-pound rise.
On Saturday, April 28, Hopkins and Dawson will meet in a rematch of one of 2011's most controversial fights. A fight that initially saw Dawson's hand raised, but ultimately was ruled a no-contest, allowing Hopkins to retain his championship belts.
I spoke with Dawson last week about his upcoming rematch with Hopkins and his take on just what happened in their first fight. As anticipated, Dawson set the record straight about Hopkins, the rematch and just what he plans to bring to boxing's fistic table on April 28 at Boardwalk Hall.
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