STRENGTHS OF BOTH FIGHTERS
Bernard Hopkins - (52-5 32 KOs 2 Draws)
• As a forty-ish "Methuselah," Hopkins is one of the ageless wonders of Sports--not just the Boxing-World.
• A classic "old school " fighter, Hopkins combines savvy and slickness willing to do anything and everything to win.
• While possessing one-punch knockout, Hopkins punches hard with both hands, to the body where he often hooks over and under with his left, which tends to wear down his opponents.
Chad Dawson - (30-117 KOs)
• Tall lefty with fast hands and good combination puncher.
• Excellent stamina, accustomed to fighting at a max pace for full 12 rounds.
• Has size and skills to outwork Hopkins.
WEAKNESSES OF BOTH FIGHTERS
• At an age when most boxers are home in bed listening to their bones mend, Hopkins has yet to show signs of aging, which is somewhat akin to a watched pot, never coming to a boil. But it could happen against a strong, younger Dawson.
• Sometimes Hopkins is a little slow to set-up and get his punches off.
• Dawson does not have a lot of power, relying more on combinations and wearing opponents down.
• Dawson tends to lean away from his opponent's right hands--a dangerous move because he tends to step forward when he throws his right, extending it.
• Dawson tends to move straight back sometimes standing in front of his opponent instead of moving away.
WHAT EACH MUST DO TO WIN
• Hopkins' game is inside. Dawson has never faced anyone with the inside fighting abilities possessed by Hopkins.
• Dawson tries to lean away from opponents rights. This could prove to be extremely dangerous for Dawson inasmuch as Hopkins tends to step forward when he throws his right.
• Hopkins has shown a tendency to pace himself, sometimes fighting in spurts. He must give a stronger performance against a stronger opponent.
• Dawson must step-in and shoot his combinations then slide sideway away from Hopkins (ref. see Jean Pascal early rounds against Hopkins.)
• Dawson must fight on the outside and not get into an inside war.
• Dawson must alternate moving to his right and then his heft and stay off the ropes, keeping Hopkins in the middle of the ring.