Hopkins looks to successdully defend his WBC and Ring Magazine Belts against Dawson (Photo courtesy of Golden Boy).
“Once and For All” Slated for April 28th in Atlantic City
Ageless WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 34 KOs) will look to settle the score against Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) on April 28th, when the 47-year-old titleholder defends his belt at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The bout is the second between these two combatants after their initial meeting last October was eventually ruled a no contest following an accidental injury to the shoulder of Hopkins in the second round.
"Chad Dawson can say whatever he wants, but I am not going to trash talk this one," Hopkins remarked. "Everyone knows what I am capable of in the ring. They have seen it over 50 times before in the last 20-plus years. I will say that I am really happy that this is on HBO so that all of my fans from across the country can see me continue this unprecedented path. I absolutely want to prove that I can beat Chad Dawson, another guy that is almost two decades younger than me, and I am confident I will on April 28."
Initially ruled a TKO win for Dawson, their 2011 fight was later ruled a no decision by the California State Athletic Commission when the official tape was reviewed.
"The first fight did not go as planned, but I'm confident I was going to win that night," Dawson stated. "Hopkins is going to have to face his fears. Bernard tried to run away from me, but here we are again. I'm thrilled about the whole situation. I'm very excited to fight on the East Coast because a lot of my fans will be there to see me live. I know I'll be ready come fight night."
Hopkins, who once defended a world title in the middleweight division for a record 20 times, was also the first fighter to successfully defend all four world titles from the four major sanctioning bodies in boxing. His run as middleweight champion ended after suffering the only two back-to-back defeats of his career in 2005 to Jermain Taylor, and the then 41-year-old Hopkins decided to move up to the light heavyweight division rather than retire from the sport. In his first bout in the new weight class, he scored a wide unanimous decision over Antonio Tarver to capture the Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship. He successfully defended the belt by defeating Winky Wright in his next outing but lost it after a controversial split decision defeat to Joe Calzaghe. Hopkins has since gone unbeaten in his previous five bouts, securing the WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Titles when he handed previous champion Jean Pascal his first professional blemish last May.
"Whenever Bernard Hopkins fights, I get the chills because he is a living legend," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, Hopkins co-promoter. "Bernard has an amazing history, having fought and defeated so many world champions. I truly believe that he and Dawson facing off in Atlantic City on HBO World Championship Boxing is a recipe for an unforgettable night."
Gary Shaw, who promotes Dawson and is the CEO of Gary Shaw Productions, feels his guy is the clear frontrunner to emerge victorious in this bout.
"The score must be settled once and for all," he commented. "Chad Dawson has something to prove. We all know Bernard Hopkins is a future Hall of Famer, but Chad is not going to let him get away with any of his antics or funny stuff. Chad wanted this bout and now that he has it, he's going to do whatever it takes to be a champion once again."
Tickets for this world title fight are currently available now through TicketMaster, ranging from $25-$300. The bout will also air live on April 28th via HBO World Championship Boxing.