Promoter Gary Shaw is confident his fighter Chad Dawson can defeat Bernard Hopkins, but he worries that latter may make the rematch a replay of the controversy surrounding their October bout.
Shaw is co-promoting the rematch this Saturday where Dawson will make his second attempt to win Hopkins’ WBC light-heavyweight title. Their first bout, broadcast live on HBO pay-per-view, ended in a second round No Contest when Hopkins suffered a shoulder injury after falling backward out a clinch. Shaw maintains to this day that Hopkins faked the injury to avoid a beating and cites the lack of a public rehabilitation period as proof of his suspicions.
“I still don’t believe Hopkins was ever hurt,” Shaw affirmed. “We never heard anything about his rehabing or anything else. My only fear is that Hopkins will not go through with the entire fight. That somewhere in this fight, after he’s getting a beating from Chad, [he'll] find a way to get out of the fight. Chad is a much superior fighter, younger, stronger, more aggressive and eager, once and for all, to put the legend where he belongs — retired and into the Hall of Fame.”
In the immediate fallout of last October’s bout, both Hopkins and Dawson adamantly claimed there would not be a rematch. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has recently stated Hopkins pushed for the rematch, a claim Shaw derides as a complete falsehood.
“I worked hard to get Chad this mandatory rematch or there’s not a chance that Hopkins would’ve gotten in the ring with him,” Shaw explained. “We had to take short money because that was the ruling by the WBC, but Chad knows that we may take short money this time but this is the last fight. This is the end of Hopkins.”
The final frustration for Shaw is what he deems as a lack of promotion on Hopkins’ part. While he hopes for a definitive conclusion this Saturday, Shaw views Hopkins’ recent out of the ring actions as a continuation of what happened in-ring during their October No Contest.
“Hopkins won’t even do a press conference with Chad,” Shaw stated in disgust. “He wouldn’t do a one-on-one with Max Kellerman and Chad. He won’t do a real press conference with Chad. That tells you all that you have to know about this fight.”
Hopkins-Dawson II airs this Saturday (April 28) on HBO.