This Saturday, the Staples Center hosts the much-anticipated matchup between Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins and "Bad" Chad Dawson.
Hopkins is coming off his record-breaking defeat of Jean Pascal in May of this year. At 46, Hopkins is the oldest man ever to win a championship belt in the history of boxing. Tonight, he looks to defend his light-heavyweight belt against the talented Dawson—the man Pascal beat to claim the light heavyweight title in 2010.
The two face-off at a very critical junction in their careers.
Dawson is an extremely talented fighter, who is blessed with excellent athleticism and technique. His last couple of fights, however, have been criticized for being boring and lacking a fighter's instinct.
On the undercard of Hopkins-Pascal II, Dawson won a set-up bout against Adrian Diaconu. Dawson clearly dominated the fight but displayed the relaxed, uninspired attitude that had attracted criticism.
Hopkins will be the biggest opponent of Dawson's career. In order to put a spark in his game, Dawson made the decision to leave world famous trainer Emmanuel Steward and return to former trainer John Scully.
Will this move give Dawson the push that he needs to win back the favor of his detractors? Will Dawson light up the stage against one of the game greatest technicians?
Will Dawson's youth be too much for Hopkins?
For Old Man Hopkins, a fight against Dawson provides yet another chance to dip into the Fountain of Youth. Hopkins continues to age well into his forties yet shows no signs of slowing down.
In his most recent fights, Hopkins has looked just as impressive as any time in his Hall of Fame career. He says that he has "saved his best for last"—choosing to leave his notoriously defensive strategy behind him and fight with more fan-friendly offensive tactics.
Can Hopkins overcome Dawson's youth, athletic ability, and height/reach advantage?
BOOTS BEST PICK:
Look for Hopkins to add yet another feather to his cap with a win over Dawson.
Dawson has all the right moves to take down Hopkins, but remember Hopkins has never been knocked out before. Hopkins just scores too much to lose this fight by decision. Dawson will need to come to the ring a whole different fighter to win the judge's favor.
Hopkins is just too good, and too smart, and too untouched by age to let Dawson beat him.
That's right—LET Dawson beat him.
HOPKINS BY DECISION.