Promoter Gary Shaw doesn't believe that Bernard Hopkins will give Chad Dawson a rematch, assuming he will instead chase a fight with Lucian Bute and get himself stripped of the WBC light heavyweight title. From Keith Idec at BoxingScene.com:
"I don’t think Hopkins wanted to fight Chad then, and I don’t believe Hopkins wants to fight him now. I always thought Chad was superior and that was the one guy Hopkins didn’t want to face. ... I think he’s going to try to fight Bute, and he’ll have to give up his belt. ... Then we would go fight Pascal or Tavoris Cloud."
Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KO) got the TKO-2 loss to Dawson (30-1, 17 KO) erased from the records when the Caliornia State Athletic Commission ruled on the result and declared it a no contest last month, and Hopkins was still in possession of the WBC belt, which was given back to him shortly after the fight in October.
The really simple truth is that Bernard Hopkins not wanting to fight Chad Dawson goes pretty much hand-in-hand with the public's complete lack of desire to see them fight. Their HBO pay-per-view was a bomb even with the expectations that it would do very poorly, and there has been zero demand for a rematch from anyone but Gary Shaw and Team Dawson.
It's understandable that they want to do the fight, because Dawson isn't an in-demand fighter despite his standing near the top of the 175-pound division. Still, I'd much rather see Dawson rematch Pascal (who has turned into a boxing socialite, always at the big events but never fighting) or fight Cloud (who is scheduled to meet Gabriel Campillo on February 18) than watch he and Hopkins engage in another non-fight. The little bit we saw led everyone to believe that the fight's stinker potential was going to be realized.
I mean, look, I know that going by rankings and all that, Hopkins vs Dawson is a fight that should have appeal. But it just doesn't. It's sort of like LSU vs Alabama. They might be the two best teams in the land, but their games are horrendous because they match up too well. In boxing, Hopkins and Dawson match up too poorly, and frankly will never have a good fight, ever.
Honestly, besides the fact that he's a living legend and still a good fighter, I think I'm kind of over the whole Hopkins fighting bit anyway. I've said that before, but look, after the win over Pascal, I gave the devil his due and then some. It was a brilliant performance, one for the ages, where he used every bit of knowledge he'd put together over his 20-plus years in the ring to his advantage. I loved that fight, and loved what Hopkins did to a younger, faster, stronger, naturally bigger man.
But I think that was the apex, too. What are we going to see from Bernard that's really interesting from here on out? He's turning 47 in two days. Do we need to see that night where it all totally falls apart on him?