LOS ANGELES-Every time Bernard Hopkins gets shoved aside by naysayers he keeps coming back ten fold.
Once again Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) returned to Los Angeles, this time to announce his coming world title defense against former champion Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) on Oct. 15 at the Staples Center. The light heavyweight showdown will be shown on HBO pay-per-view.
“I’m usually here three times a year but this is different,” Hopkins told the press and fans standing outside a brilliant sun and 80-degree skies at Staples Center’s courtyard on Monday afternoon.
Ever since the Roy Jones Jr. fight in April 2010, the Philadelphia-bred prizefighter was seen as not capable of pay-per-view showings. But that was before Hopkins laced into Canada’s very capable and classy Jean Pascal and pulled out a draw and a victory in less than a year to convince the public that he’s not only capable but extraordinary.
“The reality is he’s one of the greatest athletes of all time,” said Richard Schaefer CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which has Hopkins as a partner.
One thing is to say it, but another thing is to prove it.
Hopkins set a record in pro boxing by winning the WBC light heavyweight world title at 46, older than previous record-holder George Foreman who set it with his knockout win in 1994 against Michael Moorer.
Unlike Foreman, “the Executioner” as Hopkins is called, does not wield one-punch stopping power like the big heavyweight from Houston. Instead, he’s a technician whose mastery of strategy, defense, footwork and angles can befuddle even the best of fighters inside the prize ring. Mentally he’s like Albert Einstein debating mathematic formulas against Justin Timberlake.
“You can’t teach time,” explains Hopkins, who turns 47 in January, on his mental advantage over the younger Dawson. “One thing I have that they don’t have is knowledge.”
Dawson claims that Hopkins has been ducking him over the years overlooking the fact that it would not have garnered money. Still, he feels Hopkins realizes that the younger fighter is the better fighter.
“I’m one of the best fighters in the world,” said Dawson, who is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions. “I’m going to beat Bernard Hopkins.”
Hopkins laughs and motions that the promotion needs more of that from Dawson. That he needs to “be more animated” so that the fight card will do well at the arena and on pay-per-view television.
“I’m all for it,” Hopkins says.
Yet another reason Hopkins has the mental superiority. He just knows boxing in and out.
“I enjoy fighting the young bucks,” says Hopkins.
Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions announced that Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco will face Venezuela’s Jorge Linares in a lightweight match and junior welterweights Danny “Swift” Garcia and former champion Kendall Holt will clash too on Oct. 15.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?