Chad Dawson vows 'to take out actor' Bernard Hopkins
To say the least, the debate has been better than the first fight between 47-year-old light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and challenger Chad Dawson. As everyone who paid the pay-per-view tariff recalls, the Oct. 15 fight came to a bizarre end early in the second round when Dawson lifted Hopkins off the canvas and dumped him on the ring apron, causing Hopkins to suffer what was diagnosed as a separated left shoulder.
Although Dawson was credited with a technical knockout, that result was changed by the California Athletic Commission to a "no decision," prompting the World Boxing Council to order an immediate rematch April 28 in Atlantic City. Picking up where he left off, the 29-year-old Dawson denied the video evidence, called Hopkins an "actor" and vowed to "take the old man out" when the two appeared Wednesday at a Manhattan news conference to announce the do-over.
But Hopkins was having none of it. After listening to Dawson and his promoter, Gary Shaw, make their case, Hopkins offered one pithy observation when it was his turn to speak: "It's all been said." Then, he sat down and refused to assume the traditional faceoff pose with Dawson for the photographers. Dawson called Hopkins a name and left the dais to meet with waiting reporters.
"I watched the tape over and over," Dawson said. "I didn't slam him. I moved back and slid out from the headlock he had me in. I was defending myself. He was putting his elbow in my neck.
"I've never had a point taken away, not even for a low blow. Honestly, it was what any fighter would have done. If the ref's not doing anything, you do something yourself . . . I know a lot of fans were disappointed. I came to fight. When he pulled that stunt, it messed up my plans. 'Legends' don't act the way this guy acts . . . He didn't want to fight. I know I have to take this old man out of the sport."
Dawson said his only worry is that Hopkins might fake an injury to get out of the fight. When all of this was relayed to Hopkins, he just smiled and said, "I'm still winning even if I didn't speak . . . What happened happened. There's a doctor's report, an MRI, and you have film. You can't fake what happened. There's no use feeding into his game or debating that.
"I hope he trains like he thinks I'm not going to show up. He's thinking too far into it."