NEW YORK Evergreen boxing champion Bernard Hopkins will return to the ring in April for a rematch against Chad “Bad” Dawson, who vowed on Wednesday to finish the job he started in their controversial title fight last year.
The 47-year-old Hopkins (52-5-2), the oldest boxer to win a world title, will put his World Boxing Council light heavyweight belt on the line against fellow American Dawson (30-1) on April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Their bout last October in Los Angeles ended when Hopkins injured his shoulder in the second round in an awkward fall after Dawson lifted him off his feet as they engaged.
Dawson was initially declared the winner of the fight by technical knockout, but the bout was later ruled a no contest by the California State Athletic Commission.
Former light heavyweight champion Dawson said he was still stung by the reversal and was eager for the fight.
“On that night, I came to fight,” Dawson, 29, said at a Manhattan news conference. “I wanted to fight Bernard Hopkins and I was looking forward to dethrone him that night. The way he pulled the stunt he pulled, it messed up all of my plans.
“So I’m back here, I got to fight him again. After that night I should have been the champion. Legends don’t behave the way he did that night. I would have fought Bernard Hopkins with one finger that night, and probably still would’ve won.”
Hopkins, who broke George Foreman’s record as the oldest boxer to win a world title with his victory over 28-year-old Canadian Jean Pascal last May, left the harsh talk to Dawson.
“Chad Dawson can say whatever he wants, but I am not going to trash talk this one,” said Hopkins. “Everyone knows what I am capable of in the ring. They have seen it over 50 times before in the last 20-plus years.”