NEW YORK — Chad Dawson, denied a decision against Bernard Hopkins in their bout last October, says he’s ready to finish off the veteran champion in their world title rematch at Atlantic City on Saturday.
Hopkins, boxing’s oldest-ever champion at age 47, defends his World Boxing Council light heavyweight crown against Dawson six months after their first title clash was cut short in round two as Dawson lifted Hopkins by the leg and slammed him to the canvas.
The fight was halted with Hopkins suffering a left shoulder dislocation. Referee Pat Russell awarded the fight to Dawson, saying no foul was committed, but the result was overturned to no-decision and the rematch ordered.
But Dawson, 30-1 with 17 knockouts, says he doesn’t believe Hopkins was hurt and that his move to free himself from Hopkins in October was “self-defence”.
“He was trying to break my back, break my neck,” Dawson said. “How long was I supposed to put up with that? For 12 rounds, I was supposed to put up with that for 12 rounds and not able to defend myself.
“Every time he throws a punch and misses, he lunges and jumps on my back. He would have done it 20 more times…
“I’m too big, too strong, and he saw it that night,” Dawson said. “Did you see Bernard have any initiative to fight me? I pushed the fight. I backed him up. I tried to make him fight, but he didn’t want to fight.”
In a pre-fight press conference this week, Hopkins declined to be drawn into a verbal brawl over what happened in October.
“I don’t have to disprove or argue my credentials,” said Hopkins, who brings a record of 52-5 with two drawn and 32 knockouts.
“We all have resumes … That’s what you’re judged by. You’re judged by your priors and you’re judged by your deeds.”
Dawson says he respects what Hopkins has achieved in his career, which only makes him more determined to earn a decisive victory.
“If it goes 12 rounds, I want to win 11 or 12 of those rounds. I don’t want there to be any this or that. I don’t even want a close fight. I want to beat him decisively.”