Boxing betting: Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson in rematch
Light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and top contender Chad Dawson had one of the most controversial fights of 2011. So on Saturday night in Atlantic City, they duo will try again. And Dawson is the -425 favorite on WagerWeb.com, with the over/under rounds total at 9.5.
These two fought last October in Los Angeles and it ended quickly. After Hopkins missed with a right hand in the second round, he wound up draped over Dawson’s back and Dawson grabbed Hopkins by the leg, lifted him and shoved him down to the canvas. Hopkins landed awkwardly on the edge of the ring, suffering what was later diagnosed as a dislocation of the joint connecting his left shoulder to his collarbone.
Although Hopkins told the ringside doctor and referee while he was on the canvas that he could go on using one arm, the fight was halted. Instead of ruling a no-decision because an unintentional foul had ended the fight, Russell said no foul had been committed and awarded Dawson a TKO victory.
“I must have watched the tape of it 20 times,” Dawson said. “I know I didn’t slam him but I watched it so many times to see if it looked like I slammed him. All I did was move back and slide out from the headlock he had me in. I was defending myself. He was putting my elbow into my neck. The referee wasn’t saying anything. How else was I going to defend myself?”
Dawson believed Hopkins faked the injury then. Still does now.
“I guess it’s all about his legacy,” Dawson said. “If I was him, I wouldn’t want to go out on a bad note like that. I wouldn’t want to have anybody saying that you’re ducking this guy. I’m not going to say he’s scared because I don’t believe any fighter is scared. If any man gets in the ring with another man, they’re not a scared person. But if you look at the last fight, he said he dislocated his shoulder but we didn’t see any weakness in his shoulder. We didn’t see any doctor’s notes or anything like that.”
Despite the outcome, the WBC kept Hopkins as its champion and later ordered a rematch. But Dawson appealed the decision to the California State Athletic Commission and the result was overturned to a no-decision at a hearing on Dec. 13. Russell testified at the hearing and said he made an error.
When Dawson thought he was champion after being declared the winner, he vowed not to give Hopkins a rematch. After the result was changed Tuesday, he said he wanted a rematch, but Hopkins said he would not fight Dawson again.
In May 2011, Hopkins, at age 46, became the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world championship when he beat Jean Pascal. Now, Hopkins, who turned 47 on Jan. 15, is looking to make a historic defense at that age. Hopkins has defied all conventional wisdom about athletes and aging ever since his career appeared finished after two decision losses to Jermain Taylor in 2005, when Hopkins was just 40.
He won a light heavyweight title with a stunning upset of Antonio Tarver in 2006 to start a 6-1-1 streak over his previous eight fights, beating Winky Wright — Dawson’s friend and training partner — along with Kelly Pavlik and Roy Jones Jr.
Dawson is among his generation’s most gifted boxers — Floyd Mayweather Jr. called him the world’s best — but his career doesn’t have a signature moment. Dawson expertly uses his long, 6-foot-1 frame, relentlessly tagging opponents with the jab and backing them up with the right hand. He owns convincing wins over Tomasz Adamek, Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, and is certain that if Hopkins had stayed in the fight his name would have been tacked onto the list.