News – HBO Interested in Dawson vs. Hopkins
By Manuel Perez: According to Dan Rafael at ESPN, HBO is interested in putting together a match between International Boxing Federation light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and 44-year-old Bernard Hopkins. It seems that HBO doesn’t have any interest in showing a bout between light heavyweight contender 40-year-old Glen Johnson and IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek. Instead, HBO would much rather see Hopkins face Dawson, who arguably is the best fighter in the light heavyweight division at this time.
Although Rafael doesn’t understand why HBO isn’t interested in the Adamek-Johnson fight, I have a pretty good idea. First of all, Johnson is old at 40, and he doesn’t have the best of records at 48-12-2, and although he’s certainly an entertaining fight, it’s hard to get excited about watching a fighter that has been beaten by the likes of Clinton Woods, Antonio Tarver, Derrick Harmon, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, Omar Sheika, Silvio Branco, Sven Ottke…etc.
Simply put, Johnson has a heck of a lot of losses on his record and while he fought Dawson fairly close recently in a 12-round loss last year, the fact remains that Johnson was beaten and has way too many losses to get excited about him. Rafael seems to forget that HBO shows boxing to a lot of casual fans of the sport and if they see a fighter with 12 losses on their record, they’re likely to tune out on the fight.
Perception reality, which is why fighters work so hard to build an impressive unbeaten record, because it catches the eye of networks like HBO, who are more likely to show their fights rather than a fighter with 12 or more losses on their record. The other problem with Adamek-Johnson is that Adamek has a dreadful work rate since moving up to cruiserweight.
Sure, he’s still winning, but most of the time he stalks his opponent around the ring doing little for prolonged periods of time. It’s totally boring to watch the guy for the most. His power has helped him beat cruiserweight opponents O’Neil Bell, Steve Cunningham and Johnathan Banks, but he makes it terribly boring to watch him fight due to his low work rate. It didn’t used to be that way.
When Adamek was a light heavyweight, he had a high work rate and was an entertaining fighter, but since moving up to the cruiserweight division in June 2007, it’s all that Adamek can do to throw 20 punches per round. I could care less if he scores a knockdown every two to three rounds; I want to see a fighter that can throw more than 20 punches per round.
Frankly, I doubt Adamek will hold onto his IBF title for long, because as soon as he fights someone that can handle his power, he’s going to get badly outworked and lose his title by a lopsided decision. Mark my words, it will happen soon. HBO probably sees the same things I do when watching Adamek fight. It’s not interesting.
Now, with Hopkins and Dawson, that’s a real fight. Hopkins doesn’t have a gillion losses on his record, like Glen Johnson, and he can still fight incredibly well at 44. And, Dawson has a high work rate, and throws punches in combinations rather than one punch at a time like Adamek. There’s no comparison, really. Dawson vs. Hopkins is the much better fighter and one that casual boxing fans would take an interest in.
The idea here is to attract fans and not turn them off completely. In this kind of economy, the last thing HBO wants to do is waste money showing a fight that people have no interest in watching. Of course, hard core boxing fans would like to see Johnson vs. Adamek, but I doubt that casual fans would. I’m a hard core fan, and I’d like to see Adamek vs. Johnson, but not on HBO.
I see this as a ESPN fight rather than HBO or Showtime. If I do have to see Adamek on HBO or Showtime, it had better be against someone excellent like Ola Afolabi, Cunningham or BJ Flores. Now that would be interesting to watch and probably worth it for HBO. I see all of them beating Adamek. Cunningham would have beaten Adamek if not for his poor footwork.