Dan Rafael of ESPN.com has reported that Golden Boy is "looking for loopholes" that would allow new Light Heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins to fight someone other than Chad Dawson when he returns to the ring. Former champion Dawson beat Adrian Diaconu on the undercard of the Hopkins-Pascal matchup.
After the Hopkins-Pascal draw in December, Dawson was contracted to fight a rematch with Pascal but agreed to step aside and allow a second Hopkins-Pascal fight. In return, Dawson received a televised fight on the undercard and a supposedly guaranteed fight with the winner.
It isn't difficult to understand why Golden Boy would be looking for options to get out of a Hopkins-Dawson event. The reasons include both financial and quality concerns.
First, the old saying "styles make fights" comes into play when a Hopkins-Dawson match is under consideration. In general, Dawson has not made "great" fights. His laconic style and his willingness to jab his way to victory without mixing it up virtually requires a matchup with an extremely aggressive opponent to be exciting. With Hopkins' historic concentration on solid defense, a Hopkins-Dawson fight is not likely to be very fan friendly.
Second, in part because of a style that many consider boring, Chad Dawson "can't draw flies to a garbage dump" in the words of one commentator. There is no natural home for this fight. Dawson doesn't draw well in any location. Atlantic City might be the best option, with its proximity to Hopkins' hometown of Philadelphia, but even there, Hopkins-Dawson is not going to be a major attraction.
Third, the reality is that there are a limited number of fights left in Hopkins' tank. He is 46 and while he is not showing his age, he can't have many fights left in his career. Hopkins and his people would obviously like to use the limited number of fights left on bigger events. Bute is a name being mentioned—a huge fight with a natural home in Montreal.
Overall, don't be surprised if Golden Boy tries to find some way out of the Dawson matchup for Hopkins. There are too many financial reasons for them to sit back and accept this fight. HBO will likely have a huge say in what happens next and the fight may still happen, but it won't be as Golden Boy and Hopkins' first preference.