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Sugar Breaks Down Hopkins-Dawson

BY The Sweet Science ON October 14, 2011
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11_HopkinsVsDawson_webBERNARD HOPKINS vs. CHAD DAWSON
World Light Heavyweight Championship
Saturday, October 15, 2011
From STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA
Presented Live by HBO Pay-Per-View Beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT

Pre-Fight Analysis
By Bert Randolph Sugar with Steve Small

STRENGTHS OF BOTH FIGHTERS

BERNARD HOPKINS - (52-5-2, 32 KOs)
·         As a forty-ish “Methuselah,” Hopkins is one of the ageless wonders of Sports--not just the Boxing—World.
·         A classic “old school “ fighter, Hopkins combines savvy and slickness willing to do anything and everything to win.
·         While possessing one-punch knockout, Hopkins punches hard with both hands, to the body where he often hooks over and under with his left, which tends to wear down his opponents.

CHAD DAWSON - (30-1, 17 KOs)
·         Tall lefty with fast hands and good combination puncher.
·         Excellent stamina, accustomed to fighting at a max pace for full 12 rounds.
·         Has size and skills to outwork Hopkins.

WEAKNESSES OF BOTH FIGHTERS

HOPKINS
·         At an age when most boxers are home in bed listening to their bones mend, Hopkins has yet to show signs of aging, which is somewhat akin to a watched pot, never coming to a boil.  But it could happen against a strong, younger Dawson.
·         Sometimes Hopkins is a little slow to set-up and get his punches off.

DAWSON
·         Dawson does not have a lot of power, relying more on combinations and wearing opponents down.
·         Dawson tends to lean away from his opponent’s right hands--a dangerous move because he tends to step forward when he throws his right, extending it.
·         Dawson tends to move straight back sometimes standing in front of his opponent instead of moving away.

WHAT EACH MUST DO TO WIN

HOPKINS
·         Hopkins’ game is inside.  Dawson has never faced anyone with the inside fighting abilities possessed by Hopkins.
·         Dawson tries to lean away from opponents rights.  This could prove to be extremely dangerous for Dawson inasmuch as Hopkins tends to step forward when he throws his right.
·         Hopkins has shown a tendency to pace himself, sometimes fighting in spurts.  He must give a stronger performance against a stronger opponent.

DAWSON
·         Dawson must step-in and shoot his combinations then slide sideway away from Hopkins (ref. see Jean Pascal early rounds against Hopkins.)
·         Dawson must fight on the outside and not get into an inside war.
·         Dawson must alternate moving to his right and then his heft and stay off the ropes, keeping Hopkins in the middle of the ring.

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