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CHAD DAWSON: "I DON'T THINK, I KNOW I CAN BE THE FIRST TO KNOCK BERNARD HOPKINS OUT"

By Jon Reynoso | August 25, 2011
CHAD DAWSON:

"This fight right here is, like I said, the fight where I open up everyone's eyes and there's nothing Bernard Hopkins can do. I don't think there is anything he can do to upset or disrupt my game plan and what I have going on for this fight. I Just don't think there's anything he can do. He can't match my speed and he can't match my power. I don't care what has been said, he is not stronger than me. He is not physically stronger, mentally stronger, and I'm going to be an all-around better fighter that night. I don't think, I know I can be the first to knock Bernard Hopkins out. Overall, I'm looking forward to go in there and doing just that. That's a big accomplishment for me, to knock Bernard out and to be the first person to do that. Ultimately, that's something that I'm ready for...I want to win this fight strategically and I want to win the best way I can. I'm going in for a knockout. I need a knockout to repair my image and reputation. The only way I can do that is by a knockout and doing it in great fashion," stated former light heavyweight Chad Dawson, who shared his thoughts on hig long-awaited showdown with light heavyweight king and future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins. Check it out!

JR: Chad, how's training going for you? How do you feel so far?

CD: I feel good. This is a very big fight for me. I feel good in training camp and everything has been going great. This is something Iʼ've been looking forward to for a long time. It's been three years, so I'm excited to be in this position. Now I have to make the best of it.

JR: Let's be honest here, I respect the legend that Bernard Hopkins is and I appreciate what he has done in the sport of boxing, but three years ago, I got the sense that he was ducking you because, in my mind, you were a rising, undefeated star with tons of talent and unlimited potential who did pose a threat to him. Bernard said that at that point, you didn't create any benefits to his career. What do you have to say in response to that? Do you feel that because you suffered a defeat to Pascal, Bernard got brave and took the fight with you?

CD: Yeah, I mean, Bernard knew I wanted to fight him, and at one point, he did say that he did want to fight me. For example, before I even fought Pascal, he said he wanted to fight me. When I lost to Pascal, he got the opportunity to fight Pascal and get the title so quick and I couldn't believe it. Everything happens for a reason. I believe that the loss I got from Pascal was a blessing in disguise. I think that if I never lost to Pascal, I would have never got the opportunity to fight Bernard Hopkins in October.

JR: Tell us about the expectations you have on October 15?

CD: My expectations for myself are very high. I want to go out there and show everybody that I'm still one of the best fighters in the world. Bernard has already been taking shots at me, but the people who know me know that I don't talk much. I just want to go out there October 15th and be the first guy to knock out Bernard Hopkins.

JR: A lot of people in the media have written you off and criticized you based on past performances. What does that mean to you? Do you take that and use it as motivation to prove the critics wrong?

CD: I'm using that as motivation for this fight. All the people who say I don't have punching power and also say that I'm not an exciting fighter, believe me' this is the fight where I open up everyone's eyes. I know everyone expects me to be a laid back, lazy Chad Dawson, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. Right now, I have the opportunity to defeat Bernard and knock him out, so I'm looking forward to that and I'm up for it . I'm ready to go out there and show everybody that I'm still one of the best in the world.

JR: In some recent news, Freddie Roach stated that if you stay focused and maintain your focus, you can beat Bernard. Do you have any reaction to that? Do you feel that people questioning your ability to focus is a fair assessment?

CD: He'ʼs Right. I'm a type of fighter where I do get bored in the ring sometimes. Sometimes,  I'll go off into my own zone. I think every fighter has flaws. I don't think that's much of a flaw for me because it's very fixable. I think that this fight right here is, like I said, the fight where I open up everyone's eyes and there's nothing Bernard Hopkins can do. I don't think there is anything he can do to upset or disrupt my game plan and what I have going on for this fight. I Just don't think there's anything he can do. He can't match my speed and he can't match my power. I don't care what has been said, he is not stronger than me. He is not physically stronger, mentally stronger, and I'm going to be an all-around better fighter that night. I don't think, I know I can be the first to knock Bernard Hopkins out. Overall, I'm looking forward to go in there and doing just that. That's a big accomplishment for me, to knock Bernard out and to be the first person to do that. Ultimately, that's something that I'm ready for.

JR: Talk about the difference that Emanuel Steward has made, and how is he different from your previous trainers?

CD: Well, every trainer that I have worked with is different. Every trainer I worked with has a different method and a different way of training. Emanuel Steward has his own method of training, and so does Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. It just matters how I adapt to it. I was able to adapt to Eddie Mustafa Muhammad'ʼs style real quick. When Emanuel Steward came in, he wanted me to fight a whole entire new way than I was accustomed to fighting. For example, he wanted me to fight more straight up and use my height, which everybody knows I was used to going in there and being a slick fighter. So far, everything is great. I'm learning from him and looking forward to go out there and fight knowing I have him in my corner.

JR: Bernard has been making a lot of bold statements since the fight was announced. For example, he said that Emanuel Steward has too much knowledge for you to absorb and that it might be mentally draining for you to learn from Emanuel. What do you have to say regarding those statements?

CD: First of all, that's bullshit. Second of all, I'ʼve had the opportunity to work with nearly ten different trainers in my career, and every trainer I'ʼve worked with, Iʼ've never had a problem with. Iʼ've never had a problem absorbing what they had to teach me. Let me say, I'm a boxer myself. I believe I know just as much about boxing as Emanuel Steward does. That's my honest and personal opinion. I'ʼve been doing this for twenty years. I'm twenty-nine years old, so when he says things like that, it's just him trying to get under my skin and say things to throw me off my game plan, but it's not going to work. I'm a great student. I can learn. I'm not one of those fighters whoʼ's hard to teach. Even if there's something I donʼt like, I'ʼll take it and try it.

JR: B-Hop has also said that he needs you to be aggressive in order to make him look good. It's obvious bernard is trying to gain a mental advantage, but do you believe what he said to be accurate?

CD: Yes, it is. He needs me to be aggressive in order for him to have a shot to win this fight. I can pick Bernard Hopkins apart just by boxing him. He knows that. He needs me to get in there and exchange punches with him. Do I think Bernard will trade punches with me at any point in time during the fight? No, because everybody knows Bernard picks his spots and his moments to fight. If he wants me to be aggressive, I'll be aggressive, but I want to win this fight easily. I want to win this fight strategically and I want to win the best way I can. I'm going in for a knockout. I need a knockout to repair my image and reputation. The only way I can do that is by a knockout and doing it in great fashion.

JR: There are some people that believe that "Bad" Chad Dawson should become badder and become a closer, taking full advantage of hurting your opponents. Do you feel a need to improve that? Is that something you emphasize during camp?

CD: That's my biggest criticism from people right there. People say I'm not focused, that I need to be more active and be more aggressive. The thing is, when you fight a certain way for so many years, you get used to it. The fact that I'ʼve had so many different trainers over the years, I'ʼve picked up a lot of different things. For example, Iʼ've picked up some bad habits, and I picked some good habits. Everybody knows that it's harder to break bad habits than it is to break good habits. I'm just always learning. Me working with Emanuel Steward is something that I'm always learning from. This fight right here is going to be a totally different Chad Dawson. I'm telling you, I'm not going out there looking for a decision. I'm not going out there to go the distance. I'm looking for a knockout. Like I said before, I need to restore my image.

JR: When it's all said and done, what kind of message are you trying to send to your division by beating Bernard Hopkins?

CD: That "Bad" Chad Dawson never left. Against Pascal, I clearly thought I was on my way to a knockout victory in the 11th round, but the headbutt happened. I just want everyone to know that I never went anywhere. I'm still here. If people look at my last fight against Diaconu, they would see that Diaconu was a tough fighter. I knew that I would get the winner of Pascal/Bernard. I didn't want to go in there looking for a knockout. I wanted to fight at an easy pace. Ultimately, I got the fight I wanted. Now I get to show people what I'm made of and what I got.

JR: I don't want you to think too hard about this because your obviously focused for October 15, but after this fight, what are some other goals you have?

CD: My first goal is to get back on top of the pound-for-pound list. I still want to be the pound-for-pound king one day. I know I haven't been giving people exciting fights, but at the end of the day, you have to look at my talent and my ability. I think that my talent and my ability speaks for itself. This fight is going to be an eye-opener for people. I have everything it takes to beat Bernard Hopkins. I have everything it takes to knockout Bernard Hopkins on October 15th.

JR: Chad, thanks for your time. Any closing comments for FightHype.com and the fans checking this interview out?

CD: Thanks to FightHype.com. Thanks to the fans who have supported me throughout the years and haven't jumped off ship. Everybody look forward to October 15th, and Iʼll be champion once again.

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