Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins are heading back into the ring, but this time around, a new champion will be born.
The last time these two fought last October, the find was ended with much controversy. Dawson had the title in his grasp, but as the Associated Press tells it, his "amateur" moves at the end of the match ultimately cost him:
Dawson turned the fight into an amateur wrestling match when he lifted Hopkins and tossed him to the canvas late in the second round. Hopkins dislocated a joint in his left shoulder and was unable to continue.
The ref waved off the fight and ruled it a TKO, crowning Dawson the new champion.
Not so fast. After a review because of Dawson's controversial tactics, the decision was ruled a no-contest and the belt returned to the 47-year-old Philadelphia fighter.
Dawson learned his lesson after his foolish behavior following what would have been a career-defining fight.
Hopkins, who is 18 years older than his competitor, will have a tough time coming out of this fight still as WBC light heavyweight champion.
While Hopkins could have easily retired after the last fight in Los Angeles, the controversy at Staples Center brought to light a fight that must be finished, and Dawson expects to finish this one sending Hopkins off the mat.
The 29-year-old Dawson doesn't seem intimidated by his opponent—something that should fear Hopkins. Via Bob Velin and USA Today:
"I saw a scared old man," says Dawson, referring to their first meeting. "A guy who really did not want to be in the ring. His whole demeanor, his body movement, just the look in his eyes, you could tell he really did not want to be there."
Chad Dawson is right now coming off of a lot of self-motivation, but after coming so close to being named the light heavyweight champion of the world, nobody can blame him for wanting to truly earn what he came so close to claiming.
If Hopkins does walk away the victor, it will remain to be seen what his next move will be. He will still be champ, but he may no longer want to play these games.
After how quickly the last match came to a close, we will have to see if he even has a chance to make that decision.