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Hopkins vs. Bellew, Dawson vs. Cleverly – The most intriguing clashes at 175

Bernard Hopkins Chad Dawson Nathan Cleverly Tony BellewBy The Boxing Muse: This weekend’s action saw 175pound contender Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew avenge a draw with a well-earned victory over Isaac Chilemba.

A return of their March 30th bout, which was considered a boring affair and a poor performance on Bellew’s account. This time around the bout was far more exciting, featuring the Liverpool born boxer Bellew and Malawian Chilemba in several brutal exchanges, but Bellew bit down on his gum shield and fought hard despite a late surge from his opponent, winning a unanimous decision by 117-112, 116-112 and 116-112 on the scorecards.

This was the final eliminator for the WBC world light-heavyweight title, Chad Dawson’s crown, meaning Bellew is mandatory for a fight with Dawson and will likely face the experienced American next. Although Bellew has vastly improved since his last world title challenge against rival Cleverly, the boxing community view his chances of victory against Dawson as unlikely.

Dawson has an impressive resume boasting victories over world class opponents such as Adamek, Tarver, Johnson, and Bernard Hopkins. Only losing to Pascal on a TD via a cut and dominated at super-middleweight by Ward a division a step too low for the large framed Dawson.

The leading figures in the light heavyweight division are as follows, Dawson, Hopkins, Cleverly, Shumenov, Cloud, Stevenson, Murat, Braehmer, Grachev and Chilemba. Given that only three or four of those could be considered popular fighters or household names Dawson, Hopkins, Cleverly and Bellew unfortunately suggests that there a few match ups that would catch the general publics attention and create interest in the sport.

Hopkins approaching 49-years-old will soon face IBF mandatory challenger Kuro Murat and Dawson will be facing heavy hitting Adonis Stevenson. Providing the favourites (Hopkins & Dawson) get through their challenges they have options for their next fight.

Hopkins has stated his eagerness to fight Carl Froch, coming off his emphatic victory over Kessler at the weekend. This fight has some interest and would be huge in the U.K or in the U.S but Hopkins has offered the fight at light-heavyweight when Froch makes the 12 stone limit so easily and Hopkins hasn’t been near super middleweight weight limit since his losses to Jermain Taylor in 2005, it seems neither deserves to give or take a weight advantage to make the fight, lessens the chance of this bout happening.

Cleverly boxing Hopkins, although holds some entertainment value in my personal opinion would just replicate the result of Calzaghe-Hopkins in 2008, a close and awkward fight likely going to Cleverly for work rate and youth as this is what divided Calzaghe and Hopkins in the end.

Therefore Hopkins v Bellew, seems a more viable match-up, stylistically and the trash talking would be entertaining and would captivate the public. Likewise Dawson v Cleverly would make for a far more interesting fight as a unification rather than Dawson or Cleverly fighting another less known 175lbs boxer.

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