Dawson finally defeated Hopkins after a controversial decision when the two fought in Las Vegas in October. In that fight Dawson had his TKO victory overturned and the fight was eventually ruled a no-contest.
This fight wasn't much easier for Dawson as he battled some head butts and the craftiness of Hopkins' many years of experience.
I have to give him credit. He's a hell of a fighter. He's a future Hall of Famer. But he's a dirty fighter, Dawson said. I'm the younger guy so I had to be the aggressor. With all the head butts I had to keep my composure. I did what I had to do. I got my belts back.
After the fight Hopkins questioned why Dawson got the victory - two judges scored it 117-111, another at 114-114 - and lamented that the only way he would have been given the victory was if he knocked Dawson out. The loss to Dawson could be the final fight for the 47-year-old boxing legend.
I believe there's a lot of people out there that won't fight me, Hopkins said. It all depends on the motivation.
Hopkins couldn't match the speed or power of the younger Dawson during the majority of the fight and looked as if Father Time was finally having his impact on the timeless boxing champion.