Seeing Bernard Hopkins lose his WBC Light Heavyweight Title to Chad Dawson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Oct. 15 wasn’t really a surprise at all. A controversial fight wasn’t really too hard to predict. But the fact it was all over before the second round had finished was a bit of a shock.
Controversy and boxing go hand in hand and have done so for decades now. It seems every time there’s a pay-per-view broadcast that something new and different seems to happen that gives the sport a bad name. And as usual, those who shelled out their hard-earned cash for the fights feel ripped off.
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) was attempting to defend his title at the ripe old age of 46 against 29-year old Dawson (31-1, 18 KOs). Most experts figured it might be a decent fight, but wasn’t worth pay-per-view status. The first round was pretty uneventful and the second was too until the final minute was winding down.
Hopkins moved in and seemed to lean on the back of Dawson who reacted by lifting up his body and throwing Hopkins off of him. It wasn’t an overly aggressive move and it’s something that’s been seen many times before in a boxing ring.
However, instead of getting up to continue Hopkins writhed on the ring in apparent pain at the ropes. He was pointing to his shoulder and assumed he had separated it. The referee eventually called the fight a TKO win for Dawson since he didn’t call his tackle a foul.
While it may have not been an illegal or dirty move, most fans thought the fight would have been called a no-contest since Hopkins wasn’t sent to the canvas by a punch. But that wasn’t the case. Dawson was awarded the championship belt via a second-round TKO.
After the fight, Hopkins said he told referee Pat Russell he would continue, but Russell didn’t see it that way. Henderson said Hopkins didn’t get up from the deck and said he couldn’t continue. Dawson said Hopkins was faking the injury and didn’t want to fight. He can’t be blamed for feeling that way since Hopkins has been known to embellish incidents in the past.
But doctors later revealed that Hopkins had suffered a significant injury. Dawson said he has no interest in giving Hopkins a rematch h and wants to meet Jean Pascal next. Pascal stopped Dawson in 2010 after Dawson suffered a cut from an clash of heads and the fight went to the judges’ scorecards with Pascal winning a unanimous decision.
It’s hard to believe in this day and age though that Hopkins, being the champion, wouldn’t have included a rematch clause in the contract with Dawson. Pascal said he’ll fight Dawson as soon as possible, but with all of the controversy surrounding the Hopkins-Dawson fight it’s possible that the referee will be overruled and a rematch could be on the books in the near future.
Hopkins should have been given the option of continuing the fight if he wanted, even though he would have basically been a one-armed fighter, but that’s his choice. If it turns out he wasn’t asked if he wanted to continue, we might see a rematch ordered. Until then, it’s just another controversy boxing can do without.