Gary Shaw Productions sent out a press release earlier that made plenty of snide little jokes and took a good number of verbal jabs, trying to lure Bernard Hopkins into an April fight with Chad Dawson. HBO has set aside a date that month for Dawson's next fight. If he stays at 175, there's not a bigger fight than Hopkins.
"Inasmuch as Bernard stated during his post-fight press conference that he wanted to pursue the rematch against Roy Jones, Jr. rather than fight Chad Dawson, I wanted to offer a slot on Chad’s next undercard for that fight. HBO is holding an April date for Chad. I would be willing to pay Bernard and Roy $200,000.00 each, the same purse Bernard fought for in his fight against Ornleas, though I cannot guarantee the fight will be televised since HBO would be making that decision, presumably based on its evaluation of Bernard’s and Roy’s last performance.
"If Bernard decides to take on Danny Green instead, please wish him luck for me and know that I’m hopeful he will not break Roy’s record of 122 seconds."
The bravado is simply an attempt to sway the public into thinking Bernard is ducking Chad, and it might work. Dawson has become a terrific boxer as he's matured, but without HBO money behind him, it's still going to be hard to get him major fights.
But if Hopkins can't find anything better -- and HBO would be putting up a good bunch of cash, too -- then it's a fight that could and frankly should happen. If Bernard is going to be regarded as the best light heavyweight (or one of the two best), and one of the sport's best pound-for-pound, we should expect the same of him that we do other top fighters, regardless of the fact that he turns 45 next month. He says he still has the goods, we all believe him, so let's make it happen. The best should fight the best. That's what we want in every other case.
Hopkins could find other good, totally acceptable fights, too. But Roy Jones Jr. isn't one of them. If that fight happens, Bernard will have to eat some pretty heavy criticism, I'm guessing. People are already taking serious shots at the very idea, including Shaw here. It's a fight that lost almost all of its already limited appeal when Jones was creamed by Danny Green.