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Hopkins speaks out on Dawson fight
Bernard Hopkins believes his tactical skills are feared inside the ring, but that his reputation as a tough guy is sometimes used against him outside.
When RingTV.com caught up to Bernard Hopkins on Monday night, the 46-year-old fighter still was on pain medication with his left arm in a sling after his fight with Chad Dawson on Saturday night. Dawson was awarded a second-round technical knockout after Hopkins suffered an apparent shoulder injury.
Referee Pat Russell ruled that Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 knockouts) could not continue after becoming entangled with the 29-year-old Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) and getting shoved to the canvas, which resulted in what was later diagnosed by Dr. Sam Thurber at the California Hospital Medical Center as a separated acromioclavicular, or AC joint, which connects the collar bone and shoulder blade.
Hopkins told RingTV.com that he had an MRI of the left shoulder on Monday and that he expects the results to be revealed to him on Friday.
Golden Boy Promotions filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday. The appeal will be heard at the next commission meeting, on Dec. 13 in Los Angeles.
Schaefer also has filed a protest and sent a video of the fight to WBC President Jose Sulaiman for review seeking to overturn the ruling. Sulaiman has also spoken George Dodd, the commission's executive officer, and could have a decision by the end of the week, according to his son, WBC Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman.
In the meantime, Dawson's promoter, Gary Shaw, said he is moving ahead with negotiations for a rematch with Jean Pascal as if Dawson is the champion. Pascal won an 11th-round technical decision over Dawson in August of last year, battled to a disputed draw with Hopkins in January, and lost the return bout with Hopkins by unanimous decision in May.
"My thoughts are that we trust the WBC. We're going to pursue a rematch with Pascal with Dawson as the champion. My thoughts are that the WBC will see that Hopkins jumped on Chad's back, and that Chad did nothing wrong other than to roll his shoulder to get him off of his back," said Shaw.
Yvon Michel, Pascal's promoter, said that he will, in turn, "absolutely" pursue Dawson "because at least Chad Dawson is calling out to fight Jean Pascal, and he's saying to his promoter to make the fight happen."
Dawson could not be reached for this report, but RingTV.com is attempting to reach him through Shaw.
In the ring after the fight, however, Dawson said Hopkins "quit," and told HBO's Max Kellerman he thought the former undisputed middleweight titleholder "was faking."
In a more recent interview with BoxingScene.com, Dawson called Hopkins "a scared man" and labeled the fighter's exit "a bitch move on his part."
What does Hopkins think of all of this? Check out some of his answers below.
On Russell's decision and what happened during the collision with Dawson:
"The ref said during an interview that I read on a site today that he only had his angle to see the action and that from his angle, that Chad didn't lift me up. I guess that's possible. What do you mean from your angle? You're the referee, and you're supposed to have the best angle in boxing. From your angle, you didn't see Chad Dawson stand up and pick me up? But look at the tape.
"Chad Dawson didn't just lift me up, he threw me off of him. And that's because I was leaning on him after I had missed the right hand. That happens to fighters all the time. We lean on each other after we throw a punch. You clinch. The referee separates you.
"Those are natural moves. But to get lifted six, seven or eight inches off of the ground, and then get pushed violently hard to the canvas. ... I mean, as long as I'm going by what I saw and can back it up, that's all that I'm doing. My thing is, look at the tape, wind it up and watch it again."
On the conversation between himself and Russell while he was down:
"I was asked if I could continue, and I told him, 'Yeah, with one hand, I could still fight.' When I got slammed down a few years ago, I got up. You know that I've been through adversity in my life.
On his tough reputation, the expectations and the notion that he was not hurt as badly as he says:
"The only thing that I'm guilty of is that I'm guilty of being a guy who came from the penitentiary, and comes from the streets, and who has a tough demeanor, which I do. I'm a guy that trains hard.
"That really places a high standard on me, for good or bad. Now, some people, not all, but they're using it to say that if he's all of these things, then Bernard should be able to take a bullet and to not even respond to it.
"Or, 'Bernard should be able to get thrown out of the ring and take it, because he's 'The Executioner,' and he says that constantly.' Or, 'he's a tough and he talks tough.'
"I don't get the free pass, and I don't want the free pass, because that makes me different. This is only my opinion because I'm hearing from certain people who act like I'm making an excuse.
"It's like, 'Chad did foul Bernard, but, I think Bernard could have fought on.' What sort of crap is that?' They look at me doing pushups between rounds when I beat Jean Pascal.
"I'm beating these young boys up after frustrating them first, and I think what I've established is a reputation that can be good or bad for me. If that's my edge, then why hate on me?"
On the notion that he was faking when he was hit by low blows from Joe Calzaghe:
"When Max Kellerman asked me about that, I was like, 'Max, why do you think I was faking?' Let me tap you in your balls and see what happens. Let me kick you or anybody who is reading this in the balls.
"Or let me pick you up and throw you like Chad Dawson tossed me. Let me see if you can take that fall on the edge of the ring where there is no padding.
"If you can take that, then, okay, maybe you're right. Maybe I am a p---y. Everybody is saying what a p---y can take, but they can't take it."
On his belief that Dawson was trying to get out of the fight:
"I've beaten a whole lot of good people. Everybody's got their own style. I've done what I've needed to do to win. So Chad Dawson, I believe, understood that his time was coming and that time was getting there.
"Even though it only happened in the second round, he knew that in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, he was going to have a mental lapse like the ones he's had in his previous fights.
"He's gone out to lunch a few times in fights, and you can't go out to lunch with Bernard Hopkins. Because I'll take you to lunch, mentally, and make you forget that you're fighting.
"Chad Dawson didn't want that fate. He didn't want to see a 46-year-old man that has a style that other young fighters haven't been up for and get beat up by a 46-year-old.
"I threw a punch, so he had an opportunity, by me falling on him. Chad Dawson got frustrated and literally tried to get out of the fight and hurt me by being dirty.
"They thought that I was going to be dirty, so they were preaching that to everybody that would listen. I don't know if that was [assistant trainer] Winky Wright planting the seed because he has an axe to grind because I kicked his a--.
Bernard Hopkins on what he wants the WBC and the commission to do:
"First of all, I'm hoping that the commission in Los Angeles does the right thing and rewards my championship on paper back, and, second, disqualifies Chad Dawson for a flagrant foul.
"That was not an accident. I could have broken my neck or fractured a vertebrae. I've got a family. He's got a family. I've done things in the past. I've hit a guy on the hip. I've done things that a Jersey Joe Walcott or a Rocky Marciano would do. But I've never bitten anybody's ear. I've never picked nobody up and tried to throw them from the ring. I personally think that he should have been disqualified.
"My thing is that I'm not going to say anything that is going to hurt me either way, I'm going to say what the rule says. The rules weren't followed on Saturday night."
On the notion of a rematch:
"I don't think the fans want a rematch," said Hopkins. "But if they think it's worthy of a rematch, I would fight him today or tomorrow."