• Bernard Hopkins v Chad Dawson

Hopkins returned title by WBC after Dawson controversy

ESPN staff
October 21, 2011
Watch Buncey's take on Hopkins on PTI UK

Bernard Hopkins remains the WBC light-heavyweight champion of the world after the sanctioning organisation restored the title to him by declaring his controversial fight with Chad Dawson a technical draw.

The fight, which took place last Saturday, was originally awarded to Dawson by technical knockout - after 46-year-old Hopkins was unable to continue following a second-round coming together.

But the WBC board, upon reviewing the evidence again, decided Dawson's actions - lifting his opponent off the ground and pushing him away, which resulted in Hopkins suffering a partial dislocation of his shoulder - were both intentional and illegal, and thus nullified the initial result.

"The head offices of the WBC sent videos, medical reports and the WBC corresponding rules to the Board of Governors, that unanimously declared a technical draw on the fight. Therefore, Bernard Hopkins is still the WBC light heavyweight champion of the world," WBC president Jose Sulaiman wrote in a ruling.

"I feel very happy. I feel that justice was done," Hopkins told ESPN. "I'd like to thank Mr Sulaiman and the board for looking at the tape and just for taking the time to look at the tape. They came up with what I think is the right decision. Like me or hate me, I think most people will think it's the right decision that they made."

However, Dawson's camp are unhappy with the ruling - believing Hopkins made the first illegal move - although the American will likely be granted an immediate rematch.

"I'm disappointed that the WBC saw fit to call it a technical draw," Gary Shaw, Dawson's promoter, said. "I'm sure, as sure as I can be, that the WBC will put Chad as the No. 1 mandatory (challenger) again. I don't think it was the right decision.

"We believe Hopkins committed the first foul by going on Chad's back. Chad did what anyone would do and tried to get him off his back. I accept their ruling but I don't agree with it."

The defeat is technically still on Hopkins' record, however, as the WBC does not have jurisdiction over individual fight results. That is up to the boxing commission where the fight took place - so Hopkins will likely have to wait until the California commission meets on December 13 before the loss is formally erased.

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