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Bernard Hopkins Vs Chad Dawson II: THE BOXING BREAKDOWN

By Geno McGahee

This Saturday, Bernard Hopkins, 52-5-2, 32 KO’s, will be defending his WBC Light Heavyweight Title against “Bad” Chad Dawson, 30-1, 17 KO’s, in a rematch of an October 2011 bout.

The biggest part of this story is that Hopkins is 47 years old and is the rightful champion of the division, defeating Jean Pascal. Pascal had beaten Dawson, giving him his only defeat, and when Hopkins took that title, he became ruler of the division. Dawson and Hopkins have had a war of words for years and when they met up in October, it was going to settle it, but this is boxing…

It was apparent early that Dawson was too quick for Hopkins and he showed new aggression that was bothering the older fighter. The missing aggression cost him dearly when he dropped the IBO title to Pascal in 2010. This new Dawson wasn’t going to allow that to happen again and Hopkins was getting more than he gave. This looked like a violent passing of the torch, but a freak accident in round two ended the fight and the few that rented it on pay per view were robbed of their money. Hopkins and Dawson were tangled and Bad Chad moved and allowed “the Executioner” to hit the canvas. He immediately claimed his shoulder was injured and the fight was a no contest. Most believe that Hopkins concocted the injury to avoid a defeat.

To the surprise of many, Hopkins granted a rematch, which will be shown on HBO this Saturday night. It can be argued that Hopkins has only 3 defeats. Joe Calzaghe clearly beat him and so did Roy Jones, JR., in 1993, but the two defeats to Jermain Taylor in 2005 are highly debatable. Hopkins has earned his place in history through his achievements but his ugly style has proven a turn off for many fans, which is why he is not the draw that he should be. He clutches, mauls, and moves, and very rarely puts on a fight worth talking about. He is a puzzle that many cannot figure out, but it seems that Dawson may know the route. He is following the pattern set by Calzaghe: pressure, pressure, pressure. If he leans on the old man enough, he will break.

Chad Dawson is 29 years old and has put together some very impressive wins. He defeated Antonio Tarver on two occasions and beat Glen Johnson as well, twice. He has wins over Tomasz Adamek, Eric Harding and Adrian Diaconu. Much like Hopkins, Dawson has failed to draw a crowd due to his style. It’s not always pretty, but he still sits atop the boxing world as one of the best in the game. He will be trying to implement the same game that he put forth in October. If he does, you can expect a gradual breakdown of Hopkins and possibly, the first knockout loss of his career.

This Saturday, the WBC Light Heavyweight Title will be on the line and we may see history made as a 47 year old champion takes on a 29 year old challenger. Can the old man hold off the young lion? Although Hopkins is the underdog, he has not gone quietly in the past as many assumed he would. He was the “opponent” for Antonio Tarver, Felix Trinidad and Jean Pascal. He won those three fights. He is a dangerous and cagy fighter and it will be the moment of truth for Dawson. It should be interesting.

On the under card, American heavyweight hopeful, Seth Mitchell, 24-0-1, 18 KO’s, takes on the veteran, Chazz Witherspoon, 30-2, 22 KO’s, in a 12 round bout. Mitchell’s career has been defined by victories over mediocrities, but he showed his merit when he knocked out legitimate top 10 contender, Timur Ibragimov in 2 rounds last December. He now takes on the durable Witherspoon in another step forward for his career.

Witherspoon has not fought a great deal of good fighters throughout his career. Two names stick out on his record: Chris Arreola and Tony Thompson. He lost to them both. Against Arreola, he was disqualified when his team ran into the ring, but he was badly hurt and would have most likely lost via TKO sometime soon after the DQ was issued. Tony Thompson battered Witherspoon to the floor in 9 rounds. Mitchell, if he is what many contend he is, then he should be able to stop Witherspoon in impressive fashion. America wants a heavyweight that can recapture the spirit that Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and others have done. Mitchell is one of the few that seems capable of winning and carrying a title. We will know more on Saturday night.

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