by Hans Olson
In a story first reported by Dan Rafael on ESPN earlier today, it was announced that WBC Light Heavyweight Champ Bernard Hopkins will once again fight Chad Dawson on April 28 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Their first encounter last October left much to be desired.
In that fight, Hopkins was thrown to the canvas by Dawson after B-Hop missed with a shot and erected himself on top of Chad. Hopkins was treated for a shoulder injury that was eventually reported to have been a dislocation of the joint connecting the shoulder and collarbone.
Referee Pat Russel did not rule a foul, so after Hopkins couldn’t continue, a TKO was awarded to Dawson. Although the WBC quickly acknowledged that the title should not have changed hands and let Hopkins remain champ, it wasn’t until weeks later that the California State Athletic Commission officially overturned the result from a TKO to a No-Contest.
“Since 2001, when I was 35 and I beat (Felix) ‘Tito’ Trinidad (to become undisputed middleweight champion in 2001), I’ve been hearing I was too old,” Hopkins told ESPN. “Now it’s 12 years later and I’m older, heavier and feel little things I didn’t feel 10 years ago, natural things that are supposed to happen to you. But I’m ahead of the game against any 47-year-old who took a punch or never took a punch. I’m in great shape and ready to do this again.”
Although the first fight did poorly as a Pay-Per-View, HBO will show the fight on it’s Championship Boxing…and this time without the hefty fee that comes with buying a Pay-Per-View.
“It’s time to correct the first fight and let people get what they paid for, this time not on pay-per-view,” continued Hopkins. “They paid for a fight. They didn’t come to see a round-and-a-half and then have that ending. It happened. You move on and you go ahead and give the people what they want and I’m pretty sure Dawson thinks the same thing and that he will be overconfident and think I will be easy to beat.”
This likely changes the plans for former champ Jean Pascal, whose promoter Yvon Michel had been involved in fight negotiations with Chad Dawson. The WBC had previously ordered Pascal to face the undefeated Ismayl Sillakh, which now looks like a probable fight for the Laval native.