Thursday, June 08, 2023  |



Ratings update: Hopkins vs. Dawson?

Fighters Network

The trickle-down effect of Joe Calzaghe’s retirement has already started.

Calzaghe, who announced last week that his boxing career was over, sent an email to THE RING on Friday officially stepping down as the magazine’s light heavyweight world champion.

“It’s been a great honor to be THE RING champion, but because I am now retired I would like to relinquish the title and give somebody else the opportunity,” wrote Calzaghe, who also was the former super middleweight champion.

Calzaghe leaves the sport with a perfect record and worthy candidates to take his place.

Obviously, THE RING would recognize the winner of what would be an intriguing matchup between No. 1-rated Bernard Hopkins and No. 2 Chad Dawson as the new 175-pound champion.

And Hopkins is open to that prospect, provided Dawson beats Antonio Tarver in their rematch on March 14. THE RING magazine Editor Nigel Collins ran into Hopkins at Andy Carr's Gym in Upper Darby, Pa., on Friday.

“Bernard said he would have no problem fighting Dawson, but did not think there would be much money in the match,” Collins said. “He also said he thinks Dawson has a good chance of stopping Antonio Tarver in their rematch.”

Hopkins, who doesn’t have a fight scheduled, was referring to the fact that Dawson doesn’t have the following to generate the kind of payday Hopkins seeks at this point of his career.

A showdown with Dawson, the prospect of which would be very appealing to knowledgeable fans, might be too big a risk for Hopkins in light of a limited financial reward.

Remember, Hopkins, 44, had trouble in two close losses to quick-handed Jermain Taylor – and that was in 2005. Dawson is a much better version of Taylor, left-handed and, at 26, in the prime of his career.

That said, we wouldn’t put anything past the seemingly ageless Hopkins.

Calzaghe’s retirement also opened up a spot in THE RING’s pound-for-pound ratings.

The Welshman was rated No. 3, meaning Nos. 4-10 all move up a notch. That allows Vic Darchinyan to enter the pound-for-pound ratings at No. 10.

Darchinyan turned in another dominating performance on Saturday in Anaheim, Calif., stopping game, but overmatched Jorge Arce. The fight was stopped after the 11th round with the popular Mexican bloodied and beaten.