Hopkins Trying To Defy Father Time Once More!
By Sig Guillermo
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey-Returning to the ring on Saturday will be reigning WBC/Ring light heavyweight champion, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins (52W-5L-32KO’s-2D) who will be looking to retain his place upon the light heavyweight throne, as he once again puts his title on the line against former WBC/IBF light heavyweight titlist, Chad “Bad” Dawson (30W-1L-17KO’s) in a scheduled twelve round rematch.
Hopkins, 47, had suffered a disastrous shoulder injury in his first encounter with Dawson nearly six months ago at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The injury would temporarily remove Hopkins’ titles due the erroneous ruling of a second round technical knockout. The decision would later be overturned and ruled a no contest, allowing Hopkins to remain champion. Prior to his disappointing first bout with Dawson, the crafty veteran known also as “B-Hop” had shattered former two-time World Heavyweight Champion, George “The Heywood Giant” Foreman’s (76W-5L-68KO’s) record for being the oldest man in the history of boxing to win a major world title. He conquered this monumental feat in a dominating performance during his rematch with Haitian-Canadian powerhouse, Jean Pascal (26W-2L-16KO’s-1D) to lift the titles at the Bell centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on May 21, 2011.
Hopkins has proven his harsh critics wrong time and time again. His high profile resume includes bouts with current UBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight titlist, Roy Jones Jr. (55W-8L-40KO’s), former WBO/IBF/WBC/WBA/Ring Super Middleweight and light heavyweight champion, Joe “The Pride Of Wales” Calzaghe (46W-0-32KO’s), former Ring/WBC/WBO Middleweight titlist, Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (38W-2L-33KO’s), former Ring/WBC/WBO/IBF Middleweight champion, Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor (30W-4L-18KO’s-1D), former six-division world titlist/former 1992 Olympian Gold medalist, , Oscar De La “the Golden Boy” Hoya (39W-6L-30KO’s-2D), former WBC/WBA/IBF Light Middleweight/WBO middleweight champion, Ronald “Winky” Wright (51W-5L-25KO’s-1D), former IBF/Lineal/WBC Welterweight/WBA/IBF Light Middleweight titlist, Felix “Tito” Trinidad (42W-3L-35KO’s), and the list of elite foes goes on. Continuing to defy father time, he will face a dangerous challenge in Dawson. Dawson has also fought some of boxing’s best which include: former IBF/Ring light heavyweight champion, Glen “the Road Warrior” Johnson (51W-16L-35KO’s-2D), current IBO cruiserweight titlist, Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29W-6L-20KO’s), former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion, Adrian “the Shark” Diaconu (27W-3L-15KO’s), and former WBC Light Heavyweight/IBF/Ring Cruiserweight titlist, Tomasz “Highlander” Adamek (45W-2L-28KO’s).
Before his tainted contest with Hopkins last October, Dawson, 29, had easily outpointed Adrian Diaconu in a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision on the co-feature to the Hopkins/Pascal rematch. Will the experience and legendary ring savvy of Hopkins be able to nullify Dawson’s speed and underrated boxing ability, or will Hopkins’ reign come to an end? Does the old lion still have one great fight left in him, or will he succumb to the youth, endurance, and superior agility of his wily opponent?
In the searing undercard, undefeated light heavyweight knockout talent, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (24W-0-18KO’s-1D) seeks another victim to add to his rising list as he collides with heavy-handed Philadelphian brawler, Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon (30W-2L-22KO’s) in a scheduled twelve round showdown. In his most recent bout, Mitchell, 29, easily dismantled former NABA/ IBA Intercontinental heavyweight titlist, Timur Ibragimov (30W-4L-16KO’s-1D) via second round technical knockout this past December on the Peterson/Khan undercard at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C. A former Michigan State University linebacker, Mitchell turned to boxing professionally on January 18, 2008, after a brief amateur career. In only his second fight, an impressive first round knockout of Akron, Ohio’s Mike Miller (6W-21L-3KO’s-2D); he would immediately be signed under the contract with Golden Boy Promotions. Witherspoon, 30, has been on a four-fight knockout streak since suffering a ninth round stoppage to former WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion, Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (36W-2L-24KO’s) back in 2009.
Also, current NABF Welterweight champion, Shawn “Showtime” Porter (18W-0-13KO’s) returns to the ring after a fourteen month hiatus to face seasoned Nebraskan, Patrick Thompson (18W-17L-8KO’s-1D) in a scheduled eight round bout. Under the careful tutelage of infamous trainer and former USA New England featherweight titlist, Freddie “The Choir Boy” Roach (40W-13L-15KO’s) at the Wild Card in Los Angeles, California, the former amateur standout has remained unbeaten since turning professional in 2008. His splendid array of skillfully-timed tactics and defensive strategies, have allowed him to garnish the nickname, “Showtime”. Porter, 24, holds a superb amateur record of 276-14, and currently spars with eight-division world champion, pound for pound boxing kingpin, and Filipino congressman, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (54W-3L-38KO’s-2D). In fact, Porter had become a key asset in Pacquiao’s preparation for four-time world champion, Miguel Angel “Junito” Cotto (37W-2L-30KO’s) in 2009; in which he scored a brutal twelve round stoppage. Thompson, 39, is arriving from a fourth round knockout of Pueblo, Colorado’s Geoffrey “Top Dogg” Spruiell (8W-11L-2KO’s) last month at the Athletic Club in Denver, Colorado. Thompson has shared the ring with several pugilistic talents including current WBC Silver Light Middleweight Champion, Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan (32W-0-20KO’s), former interim WBC (USBC) light middleweight titlist, Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak (29W-2L-19KO’s-1D), former IBA World/WBC Continental Americas middleweight champion, John “The Derry Destroyer” Duddy (29W-2L-18KO’s), and former WBC Continental Americas Welterweight titlist, Alfonso Gomez (23W-5L-12KO’s-2D).
Undefeated New York novice, Mike “Baby-face” Faragon (17W-0-8KO’s) looks to put his unblemished record to the test against former WBC FECOMBOX lightweight titlist, Sergio “Pollero” Rivera (25W-9L-16KO’s-2D) in a scheduled eight round light weight matchup. Faragon, 24, has won his last two bouts by knockout in less than three rounds, and is looking to maintain his momentum with another dominant showing on Saturday. Rivera, 30, is looking to bounce back from a third round stoppage defeat to newly signed Golden Boy knockout prospect, Sharif “Lion Warrior” Bogere (22W-0-14KO’s) two months ago at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Current WBC International Welterweight titlist, Phil Lo “The Italian Sensation” Greco (22W-0-12KO’s) is set to face an opponent not yet determined in a scheduled six round welterweight bout. Greco, 27, will be fighting on American soil for the first time.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Julian Williams (8W-0-4KO’s-1D) will look to remain unbeaten as he squares off against tough young prospect, Hector Rosario (7W-1L-5KO’s-2D) of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico in a scheduled eight round junior middleweight contest.
Rising New Jersey talent, Michael “The Artist” Perez (15W-1L-9KO’s-1D) is set to meet Julian “Baby” Rodriguez (19W-20L-13KO’s-4D) in a scheduled eight round lightweight shootout.
Prominent young light heavyweight prospect, Lavarn “Baby Bowe” Harvell (9W-0-4KO’s) of Atlantic City, New Jersey will put his skills to the test against fellow New Jersey neighbor, Johnny Hayes (6W-5L-4KO’s-1D) in a scheduled four round light heavyweight collision.