What Next For Chad Dawson, Bernard Hopkins?

By James Slater: Ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins finally ran out of miracles last night in his rematch with “Bad” Chad Dawson. The 47-year-old legend was widely out-pointed over 12 less than thrilling rounds (at least B-Hop was ruled a clear points loser by everyone on planet earth apart from judge Luis Rivera, who somehow, shockingly, disgracefully, unforgivably, had the fight all even at 114-114), and “The Executioner’s” amazing career might have seen its end.

29-year-old Dawson, who has the style to be able to give Hopkins trouble no matter what B-Hop tries to do (and he sure tried his best to make the fight ugly last night; also having a go at getting inside Dawson’s head; to no avail) may now move on to a mega-fight with unbeaten super-middleweight king Andre Ward: Dawson saying post-fight last night that he can fight at 168 or at 175. But Hopkins has no obvious next fight should he decide to carry on.

Dawson has earned the right to make a few big paydays and he may also have forced Hopkins out of the sport that made him great and vice versa. Hopkins may fight again, of course, and against the right guys - I.E, fighters who aren’t as crafty as Dawson, and who are less experienced at being able to deal with ’Nard’s mental pressure and all-round tricks - he could win a couple more. But Hopkins has nothing at all left to prove and unless he needs money there seems little point in his carrying on.

Hopkins may want to go out as a winner, and there could possible be a WBO title fight with unbeaten Welshman Nathan Cleverly in the offing, but how would B-Hop’s hard-earned legacy suffer if he were to lose again? Hopkins is a smart guy and he will know his options are pretty slim. Maybe, maybe, Jean Pascal, if he can beat IBF 175-pound champ Tavoris Cloud in the summer, will look at a third fight with Hopkins (who drew with him and then out-pointed him in wide fashion in the return), and I wouldn’t bet against Hopkins winning that fight if it took place. But will guys like Pascal and Cleverly be willing to give the old guy a shot?

In reality, unless a fighter can make a real statement by becoming the only man to have stopped Hopkins, there is nothing too much to be gained from fighting him now. Dawson will possibly be remembered as the man to have closed the book on one of modern day boxing’s most incredible stories. Dawson, 31-1(17) with 1 No-Contest wants more than that, naturally, and a win over “S.O.G” Ward would perhaps make the gifted southpaw a superstar.

Hopkins, if he does call it quits, goes out with a fine 52-6-2(32) record.

Article posted on 29.04.2012

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