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Home Boxing ANALYSIS, HOPKINS VS. DAWSON 2
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ANALYSIS, HOPKINS VS. DAWSON 2

hopkins-vs-dawsonSo, there is a rematch of a fight we didn't need in the first place?  Yippee.  Anyone who is hoping that the resolution of this match will provide resolution to the picture at Light Heavyweight is only half right.  There is thankfully, one champion in this division.  That is Bernard Hopkins.  He has nothing left to prove at 175lbs, and would have probably been better off retiring after his monumental win over Jean Pascal... or at least relinquishing that belt, so he may take on the champ at 168 or 200lbs, if one were to emerge.  He has nothing to gain by fighting Chad Dawson, and despite his posturing to the contrary, he knows it.

Rebuffing the young upstart was worthwhile against Kelly Pavlik, because he was facing an unbeaten fighter, and forcing him out of his comfortable weight.  He had nothing to lose, and gained so much admiration.  It is the opposite here.  If Hopkins vanquishes Dawson, it may add slightly to his legacy, but he will have beaten a fighter who has already lost, is the challenger, and does not draw fans anyway.  A fight with Andre Ward at 168lbs makes the most sense, if he can still make that weight.  Hopkins has something to gain, another undisputed championship.

Andre is the champ at 168lbs, and seems without an interesting dance partner.  He can still have that fight this fall, even if he loses to Dawson, but his skills/marketability would have suffered, and interest would have wained.  Nobody dominates Hopkins, and Dawson is not a dominating fighter anyway, so one would have to think that unless trainer John Scully lights a fire under Dawson, in a way no other trainer has been able to, he will not go for the kill.  Even if he goes for it, he would still require cooperation on Hopkins part, or at least Father Time's.  An only slightly diminished Hopkins can make the fight ugly, and steal a few rounds.

Unlike Hopkins, Dawson has unfinished business at 175lbs.  A rematch with Pascal, and a line of contenders unwilling to fight each other, or in the case of Cleverly and Shumenov, anyone with a pulse.  So, there is the blueprint for hoping that Dawson wins.  Hopkins, however, is dangerously close to Holyfield-land.  This is a magical place where no matter how old a fighter gets, athleticism and careful matchmaking spare him a dominating loss, so he feels he can continue and compete.  I do not feel a dominating loss is coming, but it will be decisive.

Hopkins will probably get off to a slow start, as he has in his last 3 bouts, but just when he loses a few rounds, he will win one, and probably close strong.  It will be enough to complain that he got jobbed again, but nobody will buy it this time.  Dawson will get caught/fouled just enough not to push the issue, and win an 8-4 decision.  Hopkins will continue, and I know too much about his past to question his future.  I know that no matter what he does, it will be interesting, and complain though we might, we will all be watching.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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