By John F. McKenna (McJack)
Gary Shaw, the promoter for Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KO’s) argued successfully for a rematch with Ring light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KO’s) at the WBC convention in Las Vegas in December.
Hopkins, who will turn 47 on January 15, plans to begin training this month as he enters the final stages of his recovery from the left shoulder separation he suffered in his abbreviated fight last October with Dawson. That fight ended controversially when Hopkins was deposited on the ring floor after winding up on Dawson’s shoulder while following through with a punch. Referee Pat Russell at the time awarded Dawson a TKO victory when Hopkins was unable to continue.
The outcome of the fight was later reversed and called a “technical draw” in a ruling by the California State Athletic Commission in December. The light heavyweight title then reverted back to Hopkins.
Shaw was quoted in an interview with Ring TV saying:
“I will be calling (Golden Boy Promotions CEO) Richard Schaefer this week to start a negotiation. Chad Dawson is ready, willing and able to fulfill his obligation to challenge Bernard Hopkins for the WBC world title.
“I respect Bernard Hopkins, and the fact that he’s willing to fulfill his obligation as mandated by the WBC. I read his comments. My only feeling is that fighters should be fighting because their fighters and the money comes with the fight.”
Hopkins will pursue a fight with either Lucian Bute, Nathan Cleverly or Beibut Shumenov if the money isn’t right for the Dawson fight. Hopkins believes that those fighters would offer a more lucrative payday than a return match with Dawson.
Shaw went on to say that if a deal cannot be made for a Dawson – Hopkins fight, he would consider a rematch against Jean Pascal. A match with IBF title holder Tavoris Cloud may also be pursued.
There has been some recent talk in boxing circles that Hopkins may not be thrilled at the prospect of taking on the much younger and apparently stronger Dawson again. There were moments in his brief encounter with Dawson that Hopkins looked his age. For that reason it may be difficult for Shaw to arrange another match between Dawson and Hopkins.