Well, I hate to drop all the unconditional love for Bernard Hopkins, but reports are that his promoters at Golden Boy might try to find a way out of fighting Chad Dawson this fall. Dawson stepped aside from a contractually-obligated rematch with Jean Pascal to allow Hopkins to get his own rematch with the now-former light heavyweight champ at the WBC's request, and is now next in line for a shot.
From Dan Rafael:
He has a contractual obligation to face former titleholder Chad Dawson, who outpointed Montreal-based former titlist Adrian Diaconu on the undercard. Dawson's tactical style and Hopkins' deliberate style do not seem like they would mesh for a crowd-pleasing fight, but that's the fight that seems likely to happen -- although Hopkins' promoter, Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer, did not sound too excited about putting it together. He vowed to read the contract very carefully to see if there were any "loopholes" that would allow him to take Hopkins in another direction.
The Bute thing is likely not a real option, as Bute is contractually obligated to fight on Showtime for two more fights, while Hopkins has two fights left with HBO. Neither network is going to forfeit an important fighter on their "roster" to allow the other network to make a compelling fight like Hopkins vs Bute.
Most likely it seems Hopkins will be forced to fight Dawson, which he did purposely avoid years ago when the two were considered the best light heavyweights in the world (which may again be the case). Or Hopkins could forfeit the WBC title to not fight Dawson -- after all, without the WBC belt, none of this is an issue, and Hopkins is recognized as the true champion anyway.
But fair is fair, and as high on B-Hop as we all are right now, it still seems like he wants nothing to do with Chad Dawson. 46 or not, the idea of cherry picking is what it is, and if other fighters are criticized for it, then why change the script here? He doesn't fight like an old man, so I don't think he should be treated like one as an excuse to escape fighting Dawson, if that is indeed the idea.
What matchups Golden Boy would look for is another question. There are some light heavyweights out there -- Nathan Cleverly, Tavoris Cloud -- or a super middleweight could come up, or Bernard could try his luck at cruiserweight or even, I guess, heavyweight.