Bernard Hopkins turns 47 in January, wants Lucian Bute next
By Dan Ambrose: Coming off of a 2nd round TKO loss to challenger Chad Dawson last October, 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO’s) is still rehabbing his injured left shoulder, which Hopkins hurt in the Dawson fight after falling over the back of Dawson after missing a punch and was dumped off by Dawson on the canvas. Hopkins suffered a partial tear of his left rotator cuff, as well as some AC damage.
According to Ringtv, Hopkins’ left shoulder is at 80 per cent and he expects it to be at the full 100 per cent next month so that he can begin training. Hopkins turns 47 on January 15th, and he wants to fight unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (29-0, 24 KO’s) next rather than trying to tangle with Dawson again. Some boxing fans think that Hopkins doesn’t want any part of Dawson because Hopkins looked slow and small against Dawson.
Although the fight was only in the 2n round, you got the impression that Hopkins was going to struggle in this fight because Dawson was landing and he did look like the stronger fighter. This wasn’t Jean Pascal, who fought only sporadically in his two bouts with Hopkins. Dawson was really coming after Hopkins and it didn’t look at all good for Hopkins, who looked his age on that night.
It’s not surprising that Hopkins doesn’t want to fight Dawson again because it didn’t appear to be a good match-up for Hopkins and he likely would have been soundly beaten. The World Boxing Council overturned the results of the Dawson-Hopkins fight and ruled it a technical draw. However, the fight is still counted as a loss for Hopkins until the California Athletic Commission makes a ruling on the fight next Tuesday on December 13th.
Hopkins is hoping that Dawson will be disqualified for throwing him to the canvas, but Hopkins will settle for the fight being ruled a technical draw as well, because he then keeps his WBC title. However, even if the Commission rules in Hopkins’ favor, it doesn’t take away the fact that Hopkins is starting to show his age and will likely have problems in the future against the kinds of fighters that he’s targeting.
Bute isn’t like Pascal. He throws a lot of punches and won’t let Hopkins fight on the inside or have breathers. Bute is a bad style match-up for Hopkins no matter how you look at the fight. Hopkins doesn’t do well against hit and run fighters like Bute, and he might be in for a bit of a shock with how hard Bute can punch. Bute is faster, stronger and a lot more elusive than Hopkins. The thing that Hopkins is good at, fighting on the inside, would be impossible to do against Bute because he backs away when fighters try to crowd him. Moreover, Hopkins’ punch and grab technique will likely be useless against Bute, because he’s quick on his feet and will back away when Hopkins charges him to try and grab.
I think Hopkins is better off facing Dawson and looking to try and redeem himself. Moving on from a fight like that makes Hopkins look bad in the minds of a lot of boxing fans. The way that Hopkins fell down, it left the impression with some people that Hopkins was pulling a flop in order to get out of a tough fight. The problem with that is it makes you wonder if Hopkins will be hitting the canvas from incidental contact in the Bute fight. As a fan, it might not be a pleasing fight to watch if Hopkins falls down left and right.