Where does Hopkins go if he gets beaten by Dawson on Saturday?
By Dan Ambrose: Although World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins won’t admit it, there’s a very real possibility that Hopkins will not only lose to Chad Dawson on Saturday night, but lost very badly by a lopsided 12 round decision where the 46-year-old Hopkins is swept on the cards by the younger, faster and more talented Dawson.
I’m aware that Hopkins will try every trick in the book to turn back the younger fighter and to slow the fight down enough where Dawson’s super skills can’t show themselves.
One way for Hopkins to do this is to cling to Dawson after every punch, and try to have him tire out through the constant work of having to pry Hopkins off of him with a crowbar. The referee likely won’t step in to halt the clinching and wrestling from Hopkins, because he’s a popular fighter and really the star of this fight.
It’s good to be the king. This means that Dawson is going to have to make sure he keeps the fight in the center of the ring and to move away each time Hopkins comes looking to wrestle and hold. If the referee won’t enforce the rules, it just means that Dawson will have to throw flurries to keep Hopkins off of him.
But assuming that Hopkins loses the fight, which is what I see happening, where does Hopkins go from here? He can’t exactly get fights with guys like IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute, WBA champ Andre Ward, WBC champion Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler after a one-sided loss to Dawson.
Hopkins also won’t be a good candidate to take on the winner of the Nathan Cleverly vs. Tony Bellew fight. It may be that Hopkins will have to really downsize his goals for who he wants next. He won’t be the winner, and won’t be sought after.