Hopkins vs. Dawson: Why the Executioner Must Finally Hang Up Gloves

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2012

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - APRIL 28:  Bernard Hopkins is tended to in his corner by his team in between rounds against CHad Dawson during their WBC & Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Title fight at Boardwalk Hall Arena on April 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

After yet another defeat to the hands of "Bad Chad" Dawson in Saturday's WBC light heavyweight title fight, Bernard Hopkins must finally hang up his gloves for good. 

Hopkins was beaten by Dawson in a 117-111, 117-111, 114-114 majority decision at Boardwalk Hall and it should be his final fight.

He was once the premier force in boxing and will go down as one of the greatest middleweight boxers of all time. He defended his world middleweight crown a record 20 times. 

Though as of late, it seems Hopkins' age has gotten to him. He's now 47 years old, and his best boxing days left him years ago. Many people in the boxing world expected him to be back after he became the oldest man (46) to win a major world title last year. 

Much of the reason Hopkins decided to make this fight happen against Dawson spurned from their controversial finish last year. Dawson was initially ruled the win by TKO, but it was reviewed and ruled a no-contest.

It was apparent in Saturday night's bout that Hopkins doesn't have the same skill that he once did. He was out of touch with his usual boxing style and had to resort to head-butts and what Dawson called dirty hits to stay in the fight physically.

"The Executioner" hasn't been able to work his execution to the tune of his nickname in years. He hasn't knocked out his opponent in 13 matches.

Hopkins is slowly receding as a boxing force. Once regarded as one of the most dangerous fighters of his era, he doesn't have the same game anymore. 

Four of his six career losses came in his last 12 bouts, solidifying his decline. 

Hopkins may look to the fact that he technically was in much of this fight and use it as motivation to get back in the ring. But when it comes down to it, he can't stand toe-to-toe with the world's best fighters like he used to.