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 Dawson confident
entering biggest

fight of career

“Bernard can't touch me, won't touch me.” – Chad Dawson

   Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KO) isn’t exactly the most popular boxer around. In a sport where names like Pacquiao and Mayweather are mentioned frequently, the talented but overlooked Dawson doesn’t make headlines with the level of ease the two top fighters in the world do.

   “Bad” Chad hasn’t fought a household name and thus hasn’t become a household name himself. In just over two weeks, Dawson will be stepping into the ring against arguably his toughest opponent to date, the 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KO).
While it may seem strange to call a 46-year-old a fighter’s most difficult test, most 46-year-olds aren’t Bernard Hopkins.

     The Philadelphia native is coming off a thrilling unanimous decision win over Canadian Jean Pascal in Montreal to become the oldest fighter ever to win a major world championship. Dawson is quite familiar with Pascal, coming up short in a technical decision loss last August and losing his WBC light heavyweight title in the process; the same title that is now held by Hopkins.

   In his fight against Pascal, Dawson fell behind early but began a strong rally and had Pascal dazed in the 11th round before an accidental headbutt caused a cut on Dawson’s eye that forced the stoppage.
“I knew I was on my way to a knockout victory before that headbutt. But I took that loss like a man.”

   Up until a few weeks ago, Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward was expected to be in Dawson’s corner. However, the two separated amicably, since Steward did not want to leave Detroit to train in the Poconos, and Dawson did not want to train in the Motor City. Dawson has since paired up with former trainer “Iceman” John Scully.

   “In my last fight I was with Steward. He’s a great trainer, but I felt like in order for me to win this fight it has to be the old me. I made the decision to connect with Scully. To me it was a great move, just what I needed.”

   Dawson has been criticized over the past few years for putting on mediocre performances. Many believed that he had the talent, but not the heart and desire to become a great fighter. Old school cagey veterans like Hopkins feast on the fighters who question themselves or show signs of weakness.

   Dawson though believes he’s back to being “Bad” Chad, not “Sad” Chad as Hopkins has put it.
“I became a bored fighter. I lost the passion and I started to get lazy in my performances. But in this fight they’ll get to see the hungry Chad Dawson. I’ve got the fire in my eyes and I’m back and on top of my game.”

   The “Executioner” Bernard Hopkins on the other hand, will simply do what he’s been doing over and over again throughout his decorated career: Defying the odds and turning back the clock. On paper, his opponent has every advantage. Dawson has a longer reach and is also a southpaw who is 17 years younger.

   People sometimes forget how long Bernard Hopkins has been sitting at the top of the sport. After all, it was only weeks after Dawson’s pro debut in 2001, when the then 36-year-old Hopkins scored the biggest win of his career, a one-sided 12th round stoppage upset win over Felix Trinidad. Hopkins, confident he would pull off the victory, bet $100 000 on himself to win.

   Dawson doesn’t believe Hopkins has anything that he can’t handle.

   “I’m younger, stronger, faster and have the better all around game. I’m going to prove Bernard wrong, and shut everybody up.”

   Dawson plans to “dethrone the old man” by throwing over 1000 punches. Like Joe Calzaghe who narrowly beat Hopkins in 2008, Dawson is a southpaw with quick hands and movement.

   It’s not the first time in recent years that a fighter went into a fight with Hopkins, heavily favoured to pick up the win over the veteran. Hopkins has only lost three times in the last 18 years, all close decisions that could have went his way. Hopkins has also developed more of a following lately, since he is a middle-aged man in a young man’s game.

   Dawson says he’s not a fighter who makes a lot of predictions, but he does have a short one for this fight:

   “There’s no way Hopkins can beat me, no way.”
Should Hopkins defy the odds and fight like a man 20 years younger once again and win, he will be a favourite to win the Ring Magazine fighter of the year honour. If he wins the award, Hopkins will be the oldest fighter ever to do so.

   The last fighter 36 or older to win the prize was the 2001 winner.

   His name was Bernard Hopkins.

Rizwaan Zahid can be followed on Twitter @RizwaanZahid



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Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is a recent graduate from Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication Program, and is currently pursuing his aspiration of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.
  Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper. Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.
Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.

CLICK HERE to contact Rizwaan
CLICK HERE to find Rizwaan Zahid's podcast
Rizwaan Zahid can be followed on Twitter @RizwaanZahid


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