Having only seen a few Chad Dawson fights, I can’t say I have a firm prediction on the outcome of tonight’s matchup. Of those few fights of his I’ve watched, I’ve paid for none of them. Bernard Hopkins, on the other hand, got a pay-per-view buy from me even in his days off the radar, when he for some reason warranted a fight with Calzaghe. Since then, though, I’ve been enjoying watching the sport’s oldest champion for free. Nobody expected to be charged 65$ for the next Bernard Hopkins fight, much less the next with Chad Dawson. Even so, someone will be watching. I’ll be excited to hear the results and I can’t help but admit that I’m rooting for the wisdom-over-weaponry scenario. Bernard Hopkins made history becoming the oldest boxer to win a major championship (surpassing a gracious George Foreman) against Jean Pascal earlier this year at age 46. Looking the Pascal-Dawson fight, therefore, seems the obvious analogy to compare against Hopkins. I gathered from the commentary that Chad Dawson was performing at a lower level than he usually did and also that the score was debatable for multiple rounds. I also realize that far from dominating Dawson, Pascal showed weaknesses that Hopkins consequently would exploit in their future matchup. At times, it did seem as if Dawson could have finished Pascal with minimal further effort, but then why didn’t he? About halfway through the fight, Dawson complained of shoulder problems, but it was much earlier in the fight that he first conspicuously failed to capitalize on opportunities for a knockdown. Pascal being a very recent opponent for both Hopkins and Dawson, I think a comparison of their levels of success is a fairly good measurement for predicting tonight’s performances. In other words, I see Hopkins beating the odds again thanks to impeccable training and relentless conditioning, not to mention his understanding of important opportunities for points. Both Dawson and Pascal, in their 2010 bout, looked clueless in that respect, pressuring each other only when their stamina permitted. Hopkins will use his arsenal whenever it’s needed, taking the opportunities that win fights, or at least score knockdowns (as he did with Calzaghe). Dawson will likely be lacking in productivity and in power, considering Hopkins’ sterling reputation for staying on his feet. The older Hopkins gets, the more likely it is that his next fight will be the one to make him look his age, but I don’t think this will be the one.
Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson