Lem Satterfield

Exclusive Q&A: Calzaghe on retirement, Jones, Hopkins-Dawson

RingTV.com: Would you tell him that if you had him face-to-face?

JC: I can’t really say that to him. Roy is his own man. I just have an opinion. You can’t tell anybody how to live their life. It’s his career at the end of the day.

He can fight as long as he wants to fight. That’s his decision. I’m just saying that from my point of view, I have a lot of respect for Roy.

So I don’t like to see him still fighting and getting knocked out badly at that age, you know, at 40 years old. I don’t like to see that.

RingTV.com: What are your thoughts watching Hopkins?

JC: I think that it’s great. I love what Bernard Hopkins is doing. I wasn’t 100 percent for my fight with Bernard Hopkins, but I never really said anything about it.

I know that he thinks that he won the fight, obviously, I think that I won the fight. But for him to go on and do what he’s done is great. In fact,

I congratulated him when we saw each other at the Amir Khan-Zab Judah fight in Las Vegas. We shook hands and we had a bit of fun.

He talked to me and wanted to know if I was coming back to fight a rematch with him. He said that we could fill up a stadium and I said, “Yeah, we could do that.”

I said, “Okay, let’s do a 60-40 split,” and that completely shut him up. He wouldn’t be quiet, and so I said, “60-40,” and he went silent. He said, “Can’t we negotiate?”

We were just talking and having fun. Listen, at the end of the day, Bernard said a lot of things during the buildup for the fight and that’s part of the game.

I respect the guy as a fighter, and we were friendly, and we chatted and we know the score. I have respect for every single fighter who steps into the ring with me.

I’ll always going to respect Bernard Hopkins. And listen, I’m his biggest fan when he fights. So I root for him. The more he wins, the better it looks on me.

I was cheering him on when he beat Kelly Pavlik, I was so happy when he beat the Canadian guy [Pascal] the last time.

And listen, I’m going to be cheering him on against Chad Dawson. Whether or not he’s going to be able to do it, I’m not sure.

RingTV.com: So what are your thoughts on Hopkins-Dawson?

JC: Well, Chad’s fast and he’s a southpaw and he’s tall and rangy. I root for Bernard Hopkins. I’ll be rooting for Bernard against Chad Dawson as well.

But I think that Chad Dawson is a dangerous opponent for him. There’s going to be a time when it’s over for Bernard Hopkins. I mean, he’s 46 years old and his time is going to come.

He’s a human being at the end of the day. There’s going to be a time when Hopkins goes back to the well and there’s nothing there.

So he runs the risk of that against Dawson. But it’s going to be an interesting fight and I hope that Hopkins wins. I think that Hopkins is in great shape.

RingTV.com: What do you think of his record against southpaws — 10-1, five knockouts and one no contest — with you being the only left-hander to beat him?

JC: Well, yes, Chad’s a southpaw. But my style is a style in itself, much less the fact that I am a southpaw. You can’t really prepare yourself for my style. I’m tremendously fit and I throw punches non-stop.

Maybe you can call them slaps at times, and they may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but they do the job. With Bernard, I think that I just wore him down with my pressure and my punch output.

Whether or not Chad Dawson can actually maintain that sort of work-rate, and whether he can throw a lot of combinations, that’s going to be the deal.

Dawson has got to throw combinations rather than the single shot with Bernard. You can’t let him maintain and control distance. You have to overwhelm him.

If you let Bernard Hopkins dictate the pace, then you’re in trouble. You have to dictate the pace against Bernard Hopkins, because he a great judge of distances.

At the end of the day, Bernard is a 46-year-old man as I said before, and at some point during his career, a high work-rate from a younger guy may make him tired.

RingTV.com: Do you believe that Dawson can do it given his track record?

JC: To be honest, I haven’t really seen that much of Chad Dawson. He’s very athletic and he’s big and he’s got fast hands and he’s a tall guy for a lightheavyweight.

But whether he can sustain a high work-rate like I would do, with the combinations, I’m not sure. But if he stands off and waits for one shot, that’s playing into Bernard’s hands, you know?

RingTV.com: Do you have a prediction?

JC: My heart says Bernard Hopkins wins by points. But my head says that Chad Dawson’s going to beat him by points or maybe even by late-round stoppage.

My heart wants Bernard to win by points, but my head says Dawson’s will beat him. I hope that I’m wrong, but that’s what I think.


Photo by Ed Mulholland, Fightwireimages.com


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

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