Hopkins vs Dawson was a letdown even for those who expected nothing. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Golden Boy and Gary Shaw and HBO managed to reel in however many people they did reel in on Saturday night, and surely this time, nobody went away from a pay-per-view happy. 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins, who has enjoyed as much popularity this year as at any point in his career, if not more, and Chad Dawson gave less than two rounds of non-action before Dawson slammed Hopkins to the mat, injuring the champion's shoulder, leaving "Bad" Chad with the light heavyweight championship, a TKO-2 win that shouldn't stand after a review.
You could say "that's what you get" when you pay for a fight as unattractive on paper as Hopkins vs Dawson, but that's not true. At least not this time. I'm not even going to call the ending "bizarre." I'm not going to offer any analysis on why it happened or how it happened or what should happen (the fight should be a ruled a no-contest, period). It's just a frustrating thing that I'd prefer to move on from. I have no desire to see a rematch, because I had no true desire to see this fight in the first place. There is a nice schedule in November I'm really looking forward to, with fights like Pacquiao vs Marquez III, Angulo vs Kirkland, Bute vs Johnson, Alvarez vs Cintron, and more. I'm ready to focus more on that.
But I will offer these quick thoughts on Hopkins vs Dawson: Bernard Hopkins is 46 and really didn't look to be in great shape on Saturday. An injury like this was, in some ways, bound to happen. I mean getting thrown like that wasn't his fault, but I just feel like an injury or something of that nature was bound to crop up sooner than later. Chad Dawson acted like a clown after the fight, which was I guess surprising to some, but I'm just never surprised when boxers act the fool for a few minutes. For one thing it's the heat of the moment, which I think excuses 80% of these situations. Guys are pumped up right then. They're in a fighting mindset.
As for the minor or non-controversy coming from some accusing Hopkins of quitting, look, I don't think he did, but I can see why someone would think that. We've seen Bernard roll around in theatrical agony against, as Max Kellerman noted on Saturday, Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr in recent fights. He's not above milking any minor bump or fall to get some time or take away someone's rhythm or just piss off the other guy, or whatever.
But Hopkins hit the mat hard this time, and it's not like Chad Dawson was doing anything significant that Hopkins needed to disrupt or whatever. Winky Wright called Hopkins a quitter after the fight, but Winky Wright also calls himself an active fighter despite one fight in the last four years, a loss in which he didn't win a round against Paul Williams, so Wright can be taken with a grain of salt given that and the fact that he and Hopkins aren't friendly to begin with, to say the least.
Thoughts On the Undercard
I do like Paul Malignaggi, but my desire to see him fight at 147 is just really low. He does look physically better than he did in his last fight at 140 against Amir Khan, but he's just not as quick as he used to be, which really hurts his chances at winning significant fights. He'll beat guys like Orlando Lora (or Jose Miguel Cotto, or Michael Lozada) because he's the better fighter, step lost or not. But they're talking about getting him a title shot, and there are zero titlists at 147 that I think are an interesting fight for him. He may be able to beat Senchenko, but I doubt it, and that's not a fight that's going to happen anyway. After that we're talking about Mayweather, Pacquiao and Berto, and I really don't think Paulie has a shot against any of them, and the only guy he might possibly fight there is Berto.
But I wouldn't mind seeing Kell Brook face Malignaggi. Paulie is well-known to UK fans, Brook is on the rise, and while it's not a great fight for Kell, he's not likely to get a great fight soon. He wants to come to the U.S. and Malignaggi would be a fighter he could face that HBO might pick up. Malignaggi vs Devon Alexander might come into play, but I've just got no interest in that fight unless Devon is looking better than he has in his last three fights.
I think Brickhaus summed up Jorge Linares well: He's a great talent who is going to be limited by his chin. It's not that it's truly awful, I don't think, it's just it's vulnerable and he seems to have a hard time holding off guys who can bang and don't take themselves out of the fight. He's sort of like Amir Khan but he hasn't adapted as well to date. With this win, Antonio DeMarco doesn't become a better fighter than I thought he was before, but he becomes established as someone who's not going to stop trying in any fight. He's proven that a few times now, and the comeback win over Linares seals it. He's someone I'd be happy to see fight at any time.
Danny Garcia picked up his best win, and he beat a Kendall Holt who wasn't mentally absent from the fight. He did it simply by fighting a better fight. Luis Collazo losing to Freddy Hernandez is a bit of a stunner to me, not because I think Collazo is still so good (because he's clearly not), but because Hernandez really isn't very good at all and I figured even a rusty Collazo would be able to sneak past him at worst.