By Teron Briggs: Following his historic win to become (at 46 years young) the oldest boxing champion in the history of the sport, Bernard Hopkins needs to return to the ring against a worthy, young, exciting fighter in a marquee matchup. A legal contract states that Hopkins must face former Light Heavyweight Champ Chad Dawson; that’s neither an anticipated fight, nor is it a particularly appealing one. The best matchup that can be made for Hopkins and the boxing public is against Montreal’s undefeated hometown hero, Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute.
Less than a year ago, Jean Pascal defeated Chad Dawson in a tactically tedious (and at times downright boring!) 11th round technical decision, of what had been a highly anticipated matchup of the two best light heavyweight champions in the world. It was Dawson’s 4th match in a row in which he failed to display the kind of passion that excites fight fans. Unfortunately, because Dawson had bargaining position as a champion, he was able to slip a rematch clause into the contract. “However, a stipulation, allowed each fighter to take on another opponent in the interim, so Pascal opted to face future Hall of Famer Hopkins next. The result of this fight was a draw, which many observers felt Hopkins won. Hence, the boxing public, as well as the (WBC organization), demanded Hopkins and Pascal fight for a second time to set the record straight.” In the meantime, Dawson hired the legendary Emmanuel Steward as his new trainer. He subsequently got back on the winning track via a 12 round decision, in a slightly more engaging fight than his recent matches. The ridiculous Dawson rematch clause is now shackled to the ankles of Hopkins like a dead weight. Hopkins had already declined previous offers to fight him because Dawson wasn’t widely known, didn’t have a strong fan base, and didn’t have a fan friendly style. Dawson, the once rising star, has only seemed to lose luster while Hopkins has somehow increased his legendary status.
Lucian Bute is an explosive boxer puncher with 28 victories, 0 defeats, and 23 victories by way of knockout. Bute’s adopted home is Montreal, where he’s fought numerous times in front of sold-out, raucous crowds; the same city Hopkins made history in by beating another hometown favorite. Hopkins said, after the victory over Pascal, that he wanted to return to Montreal to face Bute despite the fact that he’s arguably public enemy number 1. It doesn’t get any more compelling than Hopkins v Bute. Someone get me a lighter so I can do what needs to be done with this contract.