Dawson easily beats Hopkins, makes him look old; Mitchell stops Witherspoon

By Paul Strauss: Bad Chad Dawson described the rematch as a great fight? That's open to argument. Ugly would be a better description. What transpired tonight at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City NJ wasn't pretty. Boxing fans know that isn't unusual with Hopkins. The old man is clever, tricky, slick and sneaky or dirty if you prefer. Bad Chad claimed to have been head butted at least eight times, without any warning from Referee Eddie Cotton.

He was right about the cut he sustained just outside the left eye. It definitely came from a head butt. The cut over the right eye, which came a few rounds later, was probably due to a long left from Hopkins. However, overall Chad was right about Hopkins' tactics. B-Hop is not going to change at this late date, so it it should come as no surprise when you see him jump in with a lead right, followed by his lowered head.

Dawson did counter a few times with a left uppercuts, but too often he was ducking low. That allowed Bernard to come over the top and push down on the back of Dawson, preventing him from retaliating with any kind of counter.

Even at the advanced age of 47 years, Hopkins can still move. He managed to bother Chad with his side to side and in and out movement, so much so that Chad couldn't keep things at a comfortable distance where he might be the most effective. Too often Chad's punches were falling short, or being blocked and slipped. Neither fighter threw very many punches, but Dawson was managing a better connect rate and controlling things with a so so jab.

But, the truth is it was an ugly fight. Referee Eddie Cotton probably got a better workout than either fighter. Most of his efforts came in the form of trying to pry the two fighters apart. Bernard started the holding and hitting, but soon he had Bad Chad doing it too. There were many wrestling moments, and one instance when Hopkins flat out tackled Chad, putting both of them on the canvas. I told you it was ugly!

Dawson's trainer John Scully pleaded with Chad between rounds to do more. He kept trying to impress upon Chad that he was the younger man, who trained properly and therefore should be dominating the fight. Scully kept trying to get Dawson to have confidence in the fact that he was doing some things right defensively, but wasn't making Bernard pay. He complimented Chad on his ability to turn Bernard, but then admonished him for not unloading on him when he did.

There was more than one moment in the fight that made you cringe, thinking, "Oh oh, here were go again". You fully expected one or the other guy to get penalized, or worse yet disqualified. Thankfully for Dawson, he refrained from anything too dramatic in the way of rough housing. Being able to keep his composure enabled him to come away with the majority decision and the WBC light heavyweight title. Bernard refused to be interviewed after the fight, so who knows what his future plans might be. He certainly proved he has a lot left, and could give anybody in the division a run for their money. However, without the title, who would want to risk it?

The co-feature was between Chazz Witherspoon and Seth Mitchell. Seth showed his somewhat porous defense when he got rocked by right hands in the first round. For a while there, it looked like he might get stopped. He definitely heard a couple of birdies, but he didn't go down. He made it through to the bell, and then started coming back in the second; although, he still looked a little shaky on his pins.

He deserved lots of credit. Even though he had been rocked, and was still feeling the effects, he still showed a lot of heart by continuing to be the aggressor. It paid off, because he started getting Chazz to back up. Seth continued to step things up, and the pace became harder for Chazz to handle. He can move, but not that fast.

By the third round, Seth was starting to get to Chazz. He closed the distance, and was freezing him with some pretty good body shots. Then in one good exchange, Seth landed a glancing right, followed by an especially good left hook. The punch landed right on the button, and down went Chazz. Unlike his opponent, Chazz wasn't going to shake this one off. He did beat the count, but soon Seth had him up against the ropes and was pummeling him with some heavy bombs, particularly hard straight rights up the middle.

After one really good right hand, Referee Randy Neumann stepped in between the two fighters and started to administer a count. Apparently he thought the ropes were holding up Chazz. However, before he even got through with a count of one, he realized Chazz was in no condition to continue, so Neumann halted the action. Officially it was a TKO at 2:31 of the third round. So, Seth Mitchell remains undefeated and moves along in his quest for an eventual shot at the title. All in all, it was a pretty good night for a former Michigan State football player.


In other fights on the card:

Julian Williams UD 8 Hector Rosario
Phil Lo Greco UD 6 Hector Orozco
Lavarn Harvell KO 3 Anthony Pietrantonio
Mike Faragon UD 8 Sergio Rivera
Shawn Porter TKO 6 Patrick Thompson

Article posted on 29.04.2012

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