WBC light heavyweight champion of the world, Bernard Hopkins, is putting the finishing showed touches on the preparation for his upcoming title defense against Chad Hopkins scheduled for the Saturday October 15th. The fight will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
It is considered somewhat of a risky fight for the 46-year-old future Hall of Famer Hopkins. Dawsonâ€™s style isnâ€™t conducive to what works best for â€œThe Executioner.â€ Hopkins, 52-5-2 (32 KOs), likes aggressive fighters that come at him, not counterpunching lefties like Dawson, 30-1 (17 KOs), that are patient and not always willing to play along with Hopkinsâ€™ tactics.
â€œChad Dawson has earned the right to challenge me for my titles, and I know heâ€™s been looking for this fight for a long time,â€ Hopkins told CBS Philadelphia. Hopkins defeated Jean Pascal on May 21 to win the WBC light heavyweight world championship, in the process becoming the oldest fighter in recorded boxing history to win a major title. â€œYouâ€™ve got to be careful what you wish for, because believe it or not, I will be prepared once again to beat father time and show the world what I can do. Jean Pascal underestimated me and Chad Dawson better not do the same,â€ he added.
One big difference between Pascal and Dawson is that Pascal had little or no endurance after the middle rounds. One big plus is that Dawson replaced legendary Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward a month ago with John Scully, a former mid-level pro who trained â€œBad Chadâ€ early in his career, and Winky Wright, a former world champion known for his defensive tactics, working his corner.
But Dawson has said he plans on coming out early and testing the older, grizzled Hopkins with a volume of punches. Hopkins shot any notion down that Dawson will overwhelm him with an early attack.
Hopkins, however, has not stopped an opponent since he delivered a vicious body punch that crumpled Oscar De La Hoya in the ninth round on September 18, 2004â€”over seven years ago.
â€œI feel on schedule and coming back so quickly from the May fight against Pascal, I feel like Iâ€™m fighting the 12th round as far as Iâ€™m concerned,â€ Hopkins said. â€œThis feels good, it feels good to come back so soon without a nine-month gap, a 15-month gap. If Dawson thinks heâ€™s going to throw more punches and win on the scorecards, Iâ€™m coming out in with an aggressive game and a smart game. Theyâ€™ll see. I can walk away and be satisfied that I achieved all I can achieve.
â€œItâ€™s going to be gratifying to be sitting there in my 60s and hear a commentator say, â€˜Heâ€™s approaching Bernard Hopkinsâ€™ record,â€™ thatâ€™s what keeps me going. Ten, 15, 20, 30 years from now, it will be like Iâ€™m still boxing, fighting in the second half of my life.â€
It has to be noted that Dawsonâ€™s lone loss came against Pascal, on August 14, 2010 by a technical decision. But it was a fight in which Dawson had a very turbulent training camp, and hardly trained at all, and Dawson was gaining momentum in the later rounds when the fight was stopped and went to the judges.