By Larry Fine

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."

"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."

(Reporting By Larry Fine; Editing by Frank Pingue)