Lem Satterfield

Hopkins or Dawson? The experts decide

Kevin Iole, Yahoo!Sports

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Chad Dawson: Bernard Hopkins is a boxing genius. Chad Dawson is an extremely talented guy who doesn’t always have the drive necessary.

You don’t beat Bernard Hopkins without talent and drive. Dawson’s size will create some issues, but Bernard will figure him out and pull out a unanimous decision victory.


Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, former three-time, two-division titleholder

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Chad Dawson: I’m picking Bernard Hopkins because he’s a smart guy who knows his way around the ring. Just from watching Chad Dawson, he has all of the characteristics of a guy who can beat Bernard Hopkins.

He’s left-handed and he’s tall. But in Chad’s last couple of fights, I haven’t really seen that killer instinct in him. I haven’t really got the feeling that he wants to finish these guys. He seems almost happy just to be competing.

And when you have a guy in there like Bernard, that was in a situation like I was against Fernando Montiel — people saying out with the old and in with the new — it gets you up just that much more. So I think that Bernard has a lot to gain but he also has everything to lose.

I think that Chad Dawson is going to come to fight, but I think Bernard is going to beat him over 12 rounds, by unanimous or split-decision.


Steve Kim, Maxboxing.com

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Chad Dawson: I like Bernard Hopkins in a fight that will very tough to judge and could have some controversy. A lot of close rounds will be fought and it will be difficult to separate the two.

Sugar Ray Leonard, five-division, seven-time titleholder

Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Chad Dawson: I think Bernard Hopkins comes through again. I don’t want to say miraculously, because Bernard Hopkins is an anomaly. Bernard is one of those rare breeds that just doesn’t exist anymore . He’s like a George Foreman.

You cannot doubt him or count him out. I like Chad Dawson, who is an incredibly talented boxer and a talented fighter and you can’t count him out. But, I think that Bernard has the experience factor, and that’s off the hook.

That will lead him to victory because he knows how to nullify an offense of a younger guy as well as his defense. Like when he beat Jean Pascal, who was very, very strong and fast and what have you. But you saw that experience was a factor.

I think that Bernard knows how to break a guy down and that he’s a technician. Dawson is a very talented young man, but the age factor does not apply to Bernard Hopkins. So I see Bernard proves to win by a decision.

Ryan Maquiñana, BoxingScene/Comcast SportsNet

Bernard Hopkins SD 12 Chad Dawson: For Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson’s style presents a contrast to Jean Pascal not only because he’s a southpaw, but also a more accurate puncher and calculated boxer. 

The optimist in me hopes that during what will likely be many an early staredown and feint-fest, that one man will interpret his foe’s tentativeness to attack as an invitation to pressure him. 

Aside from the Joe Calzaghe fight, Hopkins eats lefties for lunch, and if Adrian Diaconu can whistle a few right hands down the pipe, I don’t see why Bernard can’t.

I think the X-Factor is Dawson’s decision to switch back to the underrated John Scully in his corner. If Dawson really means it when he said that the reason why he did it was motivation, then we’ll see it–or not–in the ring.

Tough fight to call because I foresee a lot of close rounds being fought in spurts on the inside, but I have Hopkins by split decision.



Kieran Mulvaney, ESPN/Reuters

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Chad Dawson: For a long time, I thought Chad Dawson was the nightmare style matchup for Bernard Hopkins at this stage of Hopkins’ career: Too fast, too slick, too reluctant to come forward and engage, and, thus give Hopkins the counter-punching opportunities on which he thrives.

The third of those may well still hold, but I just can’t help feel now that Dawson isn’t mentally strong enough and, just as importantly, doesn’t throw enough to end up the winner.

I think Hopkins might even come out a little bit aggressively, to put Dawson on his back foot, and will likely throw just enough, just hard enough, to test Dawson’s suspect desire for combat and perhaps encourage the younger man to do just enough to lose.

If Dawson is able to establish a rhythm early, and if he can be active enough to keep Hopkins off him, then the situation could turn out differently. But history tells us that Dawson will switch off mentally enough to help Hopkins to victory.


Freddie Roach, trainer of Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Chad Dawson: If Chad Dawson shows up, I think that he wins. If he doesn’t, then I think that he loses. But I think that Bernard Hopkins is going to win the fight.

Because he’s a master at taking guys out of their game. I think that he’s very likely to do that to Chad Dawson, because Chad Dawson tends to be weak-minded.

Ciff Rold, BoxingScene.com

Chad Dawson UD 12 Bernard Hopkins: Following his win over Jean Pascal earlier this year, it’s hard to pick against Bernard Hopkins. Having not learned the lessons Hopkins has taught in the past, thinking drifts to the idea that eventually, youth just wins.

Youth with speed, range, and accuracy is a good bet. Throw in the intangible of Hopkins seeming to not want any part of Chad Dawson for a couple of years, and the intrigue increases.

This particular fight is a mental game as much as physical and the chance that we may actually see them thinking, instead of punching, for long stretches is foreboding. If Dawson can let his talent take over, he can potentially dominate this fight.

But that takes a fire he has sometimes lacked since a brutal war with Glen Johnson in their first fight. It says here that Dawson digs deep and finds the fire for this fight, winning a clear decision over Hopkins in fight that turns out, like the Hopkins-Pascal bouts, to be a pleasant surprise action-wise.   

Michael Rosenthal, Editor of RingTV.com

Chad Dawson UD 12 Bernard Hopkins: I hate to pick against Bernard Hopkins for obvious reasons; he never ceases to amaze us.

I just think that Chad Dawson’s speed and athleticism, combined with solid boxing skills, will be too much for the old man this time. Dawson by close but unanimous decision.

Tim Smith, New York Daily News

Bernard Hopkins W 12 Chad Dawson: Bernard Hopkins is using his vast experience to school younger opponents. Chad Dawson will fall into the same traps as Jean Pascal.

I liked the Dawson who fought Antonio Tarver. I’m not sure that version exist anymore. Hopkins by decision.



The experts favor Bernard Hopkins, 12-3, over Chad Dawson.


Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Photo: Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions


Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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