After plenty of drama following the first fight between Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins, which resulted in a no-contest, the second bout was a lot more clear-cut.
“Bad Chad” controlled the fight throughout, with the only controversy being one judge calling it a draw.
It wasn't the most thrilling fight by any means, but Dawson showed that his career record of 31-1 isn't a fluke. He made sure the chances for Hopkins were few and far between thanks to a rock-solid defensive game plan that seemingly frustrated the 47-year-old veteran.
That Hopkins continues to fight at a high level as he nears 50 shows an amazing willingness to stay in elite physical shape, but the signs of aging were obvious on Saturday. Whenever Dawson gained an edge, Hopkins attempted to fight back but couldn't build any momentum.
In his prime, Hopkins used to thrive in those types of situations. When an opponent would give him a chance to counterattack, he would pounce. That just didn't happen against Dawson, almost as if Hopkins was one step behind the entire fight.
On the flip side, Dawson showed off a lot of potential. Any time a boxer can command a fight against somebody who's fought some of the sport's biggest names, he should feel good about his performance.
That's certainly the case for Dawson.
Even though he wasn't able to score the knockout like he probably hoped, there was never a time throughout the bout when it seemed like he was in danger. He took the lead early and made sure to protect it to avoid another wacky result.
He takes possession of the WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles with the win, and it should lead to bigger and better things for the South Carolina native. With a couple of big fights under his belt, he should only continue to improve.
Becoming a champion should open up plenty of opportunities for marquee bouts, and therefore bigger purses, moving forward. It will be interesting to see how he handles the increased pressure, but he's passed nearly every test so far.
Boxing lacks star power, which is why the sport has been on the decline lately. Dawson took another step toward giving it a much-needed boost with his win on Saturday. But he must continue to win.
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