Chad Dawson beat Bernard Hopkins during their 12-round bout in Atlantic City on Saturday evening (April 28), earning a majority decision and winning the WBC light heavyweight title.
The South Carolina-bred boxer won in a rematch that was free of the controversy that marred their first meeting in October 2011, after B-Hop went down with a shoulder injury.
Their first fight was originally ruled a TKO, but was later overturned and changed to a no-contest and the belt was returned to the older Hopkins. During the fight, Dawson ducked under a right, and Hopkins was on his back, so he tossed him to the canvas causing the injury in round 2.
This time around, it went all 12 rounds. Dawson, however, suffered a deep cut near his left eye from an accident head-butt, but still managed to pull out the victory.
It wasn’t a spectacular win, but it did the job. Dawson was unable to knockout the 47-year-old Hopkins, despite putting on the pressure during the late rounds. He wasn’t the first unable to KO the ageless boxing vet, he’s never been KO’d in his entire boxing career. After Saturday’s fight, he looked ready to go another 12 rounds.
Two judges scored it 117-111 and a third scored it 114-114.
“My head is hurting from all the head-butts,” Dawson said after the right. “I’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He’s a future Hall of Famer, he’s a hell of a fighter. But he’s a dirty fighter. But if you can get through 12 rounds with him, you can get through anything.”
Dawson improved to 31-1, and would like to fight against Andre Ward next in his first title defense.
Hopkins’ record fell to 52-6. At 47, it’s likely the boxing legend will retire, but after the fight, he says he’ll decide on his own term. Right now, he’ll return to Philly and discuss his future with friends and promoters; and then, make a decision.
However, if he gets motivated, there may be at least one more fight left in him.
“I believe there’s a lot of people out there that won’t fight me,” Hopkins said. “It all depends on the motivation.”