The 29-year-old Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) never let a deep cut near his left eye affect his methodical approach at taking out Hopkins.
At 47, Hopkins (52-6-2) may have fought his last fight, though it seems impossible to count him out for another run at the belt.
This rematch was no classic, but it was an improvement on their first bout in October in Los Angeles.
Dawson had his TKO victory over Hopkins overturned and the decision was ruled a no-contest and the belt returned to the Philadelphia fighter. Dawson lifted Hopkins and tossed him to the canvas in that one.
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