ATLANTIC CITY—Bernard Hopkins thinks he can stop the world. Still. The WBC and Ring light heavyweight world champion, very much in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career, decided to enter through the media entrance Saturday prior to his fight with Chad Dawson at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, instead of the back entrance as usual, closing the area down for about six minutes.
Because he's Bernard Hopkins, and you're not!
Maybe it made “B-Hop” feel important again for a few minutes. The move certainly didn’t endear Hopkins to the many who were forced to wait outside in line on a brisk early Saturday, as Hopkins and his entourage shut down the area and big-timed their way through.
After beating Hopkins in a rather ugly display by both fighters in a rematch of their controversial October bout, Dawson is now the new WBC light heavweight champ—something he should have been crowned four or five years ago. But Hopkins’ reluctance to fight Dawson prevented “Bad Chad” from acquiring what was rightfully his.
One thing is for certain: Bernard Hopkins won’t be holding up any lines or people, nor will there be files of people waiting to see him fight again anytime soon.
Here Are the top five things we learned about Hopkins-Dawson:
5. Chad Dawson Is A Much Better Fighter Than He Gets Credit For
Sure, he can be difficult to watch, much like his opponent Saturday night, but Chad Dawson is an excellent fighter with victories over Tomasz Adamek, Eric Harding, two victories over Antonio Tarver and one dominating decision over tough Glen Johnson.
No, he’s not always smooth. And yes, he does suffer concentration lapses, but Dawson is a competent fighter who’s now a world champion. Now adding Hopkins to his list puts Dawson on that rare pantheon of top 175-pounders.
4. How Much More Can Fans Endure Hopkins' Ugly Style
“The Executioner” is at a stage in his career where it’s painful to watch him fight. His counter-punching and defensive tactics are not entertaining in the way Floyd Mayweather’s magical defensive talents are. He wrestles more than he throws punches. His best device is the clinch, where the ref is on one side and his free fist taps the opponent on the other.
3. Hopkins Simply Grew Old Overnight
He looks physically great, but doesn’t have the stamina to hang with the young bucks anymore (at least not against the world’s elite). Proof of that came at Boardwalk Hall Saturday night, where Hopkins was calculating, though hesitant at times to pull the trigger.
2. We Don’t Have To Hear Bernard Hopkins Anymore
Hopkins is a fight-media darling. Using his bully pulpit he’s attained from his boxing fame, he’ll spout off about everything from politics to his hometown Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback situation. Sometimes, he makes sense. Most of the time, he doesn’t.
1. We Don’t Want To See Bernard Hopkins Again
Hopkins’ amazing career and endless comebacks have run its course.
His act is tired. His body is tired—regardless of how much he maintains some of the wear and tear of his 23-year career has been “preserved like peaches on the porch.” He hasn’t been in any wars. The nearest battering he took was in the first Jean Pascal fight in December 2010.
Maybe Chad Dawson did us all a favor Saturday night and vanquished someone who wore out about 20 extra welcomes. Maybe now Bernard Hopkins and his sorry, counter-punching mundane style can crawl off into the sunset.
Maybe it’s time B-Hop stop the world in his own mind and come to the reality his superstar luster is considerably tarnished. Now it's time for him to come back to reality and get in line with everyone else.