Bloodied Dawson defeats Hopkins for WBC light heavyweight title
Atlantic City, NJ, United States (AHN Sports) – “Bad” Chad Dawson finished what he started, vanquishing his much older and more experienced foe, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, via a 12-round decision to capture the WBC Light Heavyweight belt Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall.
It was sweet revenge for the 29-year-old Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs), stripped of a TKO win and the WBC Light Heavyweight title in their October bout in Los Angeles.
That fight was eventually declared a technical draw following a WBC review, giving the title back to Hopkins, who was initially ruled a second-round technical knockout loser.
Dawson turned that bout into an amateur wrestling match as he drove Hopkins to the ground late in the second round. It injured the left shoulder of Hopkins, who was unable to continue.
The rematch, just as frustrating to watch, but without the controversy and ugliness of their last bout and a lot longer, was clearly won by the younger Dawson as he dominated the 47-year-old Hopkins (52-6-2) for much of the fight.
Notwithstanding the tricks by both fighters, it was devoid of any action just like their first encounter, and turned out to be a typical Hopkins fight, at least in the early rounds.
Though criticized for not always being smooth and having concentration lapses, Dawson kept his composure as he overcame the baiting from the former champion.
Dawson also had to contend with two nasty cuts from accidental head butts, with the worse coming in the fourth round over his left eye that caused blood to stream throughout the match. Dawson later suffered a cut above his right eye.
In a fight filled with some mauling, but more clinching and arm grabbing, mostly initiated by the veteran Hopkins, the young southpaw of New Haven, Conn., managed to launch some flurries, but mostly one punch at a time.
After getting cut in the fourth, Dawson put the pressure in the later rounds, including in the eighth where he appeared to have wobbled the former undisputed world middleweight champion, but not enough to knockout Hopkins.
Dawson prevailed the rematch with two judges seeing it at 117-111 in his favor, while a third scored it 114-114.
On Saturday, Dawson landed 151 of 431 punches (35 percent), while Hopkins landed only 106 of 400 (26 percent).
After dethroning Hopkins, Dawson called out Super Six Winner Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO), who has recently contemplated moving from 168 lbs to 175 lbs.