Will Hopkins Fight Dawson?
By William Mackay: Well, we now know that IBF light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson didn’t put in one of his better performances against Antonio Tarver last Saturday night, beating him by a 12-round unanimous decision that left a lot of people wondering about Dawson. With the fight well in hand after six rounds, Dawson had a number of lapses of concentration in the final six rounds, taking shots and not entirely dealing well with the little bit of pressure that Tarver was putting on Dawson.
If Hopkins, 44, was watching the bout, he probably liked what he saw in the way of flaws with Dawson and might now be thinking that the International Boxing Federation light heavyweight champion is ripe for the pickings to beat him and pick up his title. Hopkins wasn’t exactly excited about fighting Dawson before the fight, and seemed to tip toe around the questions about whether he’d like to fight Dawson in the future.
However, now that Dawson has fought Tarver, 40, and looked very beatable, could Hopkins now see Dawson as a good potential opponent to fight in his next and perhaps final bout of his career?
Hopkins doesn’t have a lot of other options available to him. There’s Carl Froch, Tomasz Adamek and Felix Trinidad, three names that have been mentioned as potential opponents for Hopkins in his next fight.
However, each one of them wants to be paid well and that may be the sticking point Hopkins opting to fight them. Hopkins wants to get the lion’s share of the purse against whoever he faces and with Adamek, Froch and Trinidad, each popular in their own right, they would want to get a respectable slice of the pie as well.
After all, each one of them is well known to the boxing public and has a good following. My guess is that Hopkins won’t fight any of them unless they’re willing to take a small cut of the purse. This leaves Hopkins with someone like Dawson, who might be willing to take a smaller cut of the revenue for a chance to fight Hopkins and put him out of his misery.
The money for the fight isn’t the main thing; it’s the fame and media attention that Dawson would almost certainly get for beating a fighter like Hopkins. Dawson recently said that the money doesn’t matter to him for a fight with Hopkins.
He just wants the chance to fight him and prove who the number #1 light heavyweight is in the division. At 44, Hopkins can’t afford to wait too much longer before he makes his decision of whom he wants to fight next. Hopkins recently said that if he doesn’t get anything by July, he’ll go ahead and retire.
It seems that he wants fighters like Dawson to come to him and then perhaps if Dawson is willing to take a smaller cut, then Hopkins might be agreeable to it. However, even then, it’s unclear whether Hopkins would want to fight a dangerous guy like Dawson.
Tarver made Dawson look beatable at times, but even with Tarver fighting his best fight and Dawson taking rounds off, it was still a lopsided fight on the judges’ scorecards. I can’t see Hopkins having the firepower and hand speed to do well against a fighter like Dawson in the first six rounds.
Hopkins is known for fighting well in the 2nd half of his bouts, but if he loses most of the first six rounds against Dawson like Tarver did, it will be very difficult for an older fighter like Hopkins to prevail. Hopkins didn’t fight all that well late in the fight against Joe Calzaghe, who took the fight to Hopkins in the 2nd half and appeared to wear him down.