Boxing

Have time, Dawson caught up to Hopkins?

The Boxing Tribune Geoff Poundes
Share This Story

   
 

There’s a growing and earnest constituency that believes the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday night will provide the backdrop to the final swansong of evergreen boxer-cum-Peter Pan figure Bernard Hopkins.

More coverage

For more boxing news and analysis, check out The Boxing Tribune.

The 47-year-old Hopkins has, of course, graced his sport professionally for nearly 24 years, and for many of those he’s turned in performances of astonishing virtuosity and skill. A veteran of some 28 world title fights across three divisions, he is, at his age, nothing short of a phenomenon.

It’s easy then to be blinded to the reality of his last outing, when he was originally ruled to have been stopped in two rounds at the Staples Center in Los Angeles by challenger Chad Dawson, but got that verdict revised to a no-contest after a loud and long-winded post-fight protest. In that fight, Hopkins was either lifted or pushed, depending on your point of view, by 28-year-old Dawson, causing the older man to fall awkwardly under the bottom rope, where he lay in apparent pain from a shoulder injury until the officials called off the fight. Dawson, predictably, claimed that Hopkins had feigned injury to remove himself from a skirmish he knew he couldn’t win.

Dawson (30-1, 1 NC, 17 KOs), gets his chance to prove the point Saturday night in Atlantic City, and he has no doubts as to the outcome. Hopkins, he suggests, has been a less vocal presence in the build-up to the rematch, and at times has appeared less than invested in the prospect of facing his younger adversary again.

“I know why he’s [Hopkins] not talking,” Dawson said this week. “I know why he didn’t do the face-down at the press tour in New York City. It’s hard to stand in front of a guy who knows what really happened. I don’t want to just beat Bernard, I want to make him look stupid and make him look old.”

Hopkins will point to the fact that 59 previous opponents have yet to make him look anything other than the class act he undoubtedly is. That said, there were clear signs in the five-something minutes he spent in front of Dawson last time out that this younger, bigger, stronger former world champion might finally have exposed the limitations Hopkins’s extraordinary body must some day succumb to, and some on-lookers had a touch of sympathy for Dawson’s view of events.

Hopkins, of course, sees things differently, and continues to refuse to make any concessions to his age.

“What happens when I match his energy and match his speed and he isn’t breathing?” Hopkins asked.

In truth, Hopkins has a long and hard night to look forward to against Dawson. He hasn’t stopped an opponent inside distance since 2004, and that won’t change Saturday night, so he’ll need to subject his ancient limbs to a new kind of examination presented by a world-class opponent who won’t afford him the kind of respect some of his recent opponents have.

This time, Hopkins' game may, finally, be over.

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Boxing Videos

In Focus: The man trying to save USA Boxing Posted: Jul 12, 2012
From TV tycoon to friend of USA Boxing. Laura Okmin learns how one man is hoping...

Remarkable Moments: Torchbearers Posted: Jul 20, 2012
Peter Schrager on two remarkable moments with Olympic Torchbearers.

Roundtable: How to handle the media Posted: Jul 15, 2012
Maurice Greene, Bryan Clay and Amy Van Dyken discuss how media impacts Olympic a...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store