On paper, Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) shouldn't beat Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. But, on paper, nothing Hopkins has been doing recently has made sense.
In December 2010, Hopkins, then 45, was supposed to be cashing out of a 22-year career, flown in to Quebec to be sacrificed to 27-year-old WBC light heavyweight titlist Jean Pascal. It really wasn't a matter of "if" Hopkins would be beaten and forcibly retired, the experts were only stuck on "how" it would happen.
But Hopkins would survive knockdowns in the first and third rounds to put on a boxing clinic in the final two-thirds of the bout and wind up with a disputed draw.
Five months later, Hopkins would once again walk into Pascal's adopted home province but, this time, turn in a clearly dominant and undeniably winning performance to get the unanimous decision and become, at 46, the oldest fighter to win a world title.
Hopkins' first defense of the title he took from ...