It was just in May when Mayor Michael Nutter honored Bernard Hopkins as the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title right next to the Rocky statue at the Art Museum. At 46 years old, Hopkins doesn’t let any grass grow under his feet.
Hopkins will be back in the ring fighting 29-year-old Chad Dawson in a 12-round bout for his WBC and Ring Magazine light heavyweight world championship titles on October 15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (9 p.m.) The fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Hopkins, nicknamed “The Executioner,” defeated Jean Pascal in a rematch in May, earning him the light heavyweight championship while landing a huge spot in boxing history. He has amazed so many people in his hometown and around the world by accomplishing more after the age of 40 than most athletes in their careers. Hopkins, who grew up in North Philadelphia, has an impressive record (52-5-2, 32 KOs.) He was the middleweight champion for 10 years, putting together a record 20 successful title defenses of that crown.
Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) has been recognized as one of the top fighters in the sport for several years. He has an impressive 7-1 mark in world title fights. Dawson will step into the ring against a future hall of famer who doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
“I chose to continue to fight and defend what I worked so hard to get,” Hopkins said. “So why not get all of the benefits of what I’ve been doing for 20-something years and then walk away when it’s time?
“I think it will come down to who is the better fighter. The better fighter, the better person, the better strategist and who wants it the most. It really would be gratifying to me and happy for me to sit back in my 60s and hear commentators say, “This guy is four fights away from beating Bernard Hopkins’ record.”
Hopkins said he expects Dawson to throw a lot of punches throughout the fight, but added that it’s not how many you can, but how many you can land.
“I’m coming in there with an aggressive game, but a smart game,” Hopkins said. “If people think that the last two fights of my career were the old Bernard Hopkins from the Blue Horizon to Atlantic City days in the early 90s, then I’m saying that they should watch this fight.”