Looks to me like possibly a majority of fight fans aren’t expecting all that much from the Saturday clash between the ageless master of pugilism Bernard Hopkins and proficient but un-charismatic Chad Dawson.
I’m hearing a ton of people picking Dawson to win by decision and many of those same folks are feeling like “Bad” Chad will be fighting in a smart fashion, not taking any risks, trying to win through volume and movement. Me, I decided after the first Pascal fight that I wouldn’t pick against Hopkins, the 46 year old walking counterpunch to the inevitability of aging. As always, I will root for a fan-friendly fight, one that gives consumers a good bang for the buck, especially since this fight unfolds on a PPV basis.
Hopkins himself isn’t sure what tone the tussle will take.
“It could be a technical fight and it could be a non-technical fight,” he said on a conference call, “but I think it all depends on the person. And if the person is coming to fight and he’s coming to fight, then that would help me a whole lot. So it all depends. I mean, a fight happens and it changes as the fight goes. And you never know. But I know what I’m coming here to do, Bernard. I’m coming in to make the fight and it takes two to dance. It takes two to fight.”
It also takes two to promote. I saw a Tweet from Hopkins on Monday night which indicated that he isn’t pleased with how the event is being promoted. “The Great @therealbhop is fighting Chad Dawson in 6 days & the promotion for this event is very lackluster” @hboboxing @GoldenBoyBoxing.”
I found that admission interesting, as I’ve been wondering if and when Hopkins would blow his top at Dawson’s lack of talent at the promotional end of the game. Listen, the kid is what he is in the personality department. He’s a mellow cat, and he just doesn’t have it in him to manufacture drama, or fake being furious, or use incendiary language. And that’s OK. But it would be more OK if his in-the-ring style promised more fireworks. It doesn’t. He’s a technician in there, a skilled pugilist who doesn’t have more than an ounce of shark blood in him. So Hopkins has essentially been a one man show promoting this scrap and it’s looking like the ticket sales at Staples Center, and perhaps PPV buy rates, will not be meaty. Hopkins will get over $2 million guaranteed, I hear, but that might be all he gets, if the revenue doesn’t surpass HBO’s break-even point.
Business side of the bout aside, it strikes me that Hopkins might not be getting the due he deserves for taking on an in-his-prime Dawson. Who among us would make a stink if Bernard, who turns 47 in January, cherrypicked one or two foes a year, and avoided the young guns? But no, he’s choosing to embrace an opponent who many pundits are seeing as the favorite. Perhaps we should all take more heed when Hopkins warns us that he won’t be around forever. “I’m not going to be fighting ’til I’m 50 years old. I don’t have to and it won’t be a good health risk for me to-it would be a bad risk for me to even do that. But I’m going to enjoy while I can. I’ll be 47 in less than four months, and as of October 15th … next that’s meaningful and whether I’m motivated or not, but right now I’m just going to let the world know that 46 is a great number for Bernard Hopkins and I got a show that next Saturday. I’m enjoying the moment while I’m here and I’m going to continue to stack the pages as the pages become interesting, they become meaningful. And I think everybody should just enjoy me while I’m here, because nothing lasts forever and I think we all know that.”
TSS Universe, please offer your prediction on the Hopkins-Dawson clash. Who will win, and how?