After the highly controversial Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson fight from this past weekend, the WBC has stepped in and made a major decision. In a word, they are overturning the official verdict of the fight, and will continue to recognize Hopkins as the WBC’s light heavyweight champion. In their ruling, they state the fight should be a technical draw, in which case Hopkins would retain his championship.
Of course, many in the boxing community were already calling for the fight to be ruled as a no contest. And for days, rumors were swirling that the WBC’s impending ruling and reversal of the decision were imminent. Nonetheless, it’s big, big news.
The Ring Magazine had already stated that Hopkins would retain his championship until this was all sorted out, and our light heavyweight division rankings remained basically unaltered. Not that Hopkins looked so strong or impressive – he didn’t – but more along the lines of, what in the world did anybody actually learn from the fight? Nothing, unfortunately.
Of course, Hopkins vs. Dawson being on Pay-Per-View to begin with was a travesty. That the fight had a terrible, awkward and controversial ending in just two rounds made it all the worse. Hopkins vs. Dawson 2, if it happens, should be broadcast free to the world on every possible medium to try to make amends.
It’s also extremely important to note that as of right now, the California State Athletic Commission has not overturned the official results of the bout. On the record, for now, the fight still reads as a TKO2 win for Dawson. The WBC has made a separate ruling though regarding the status of their championship belt.
For more of an explanation on different fight endings and when they may or may not take place, take a look at our boxing scoring and judging overview.
Below, find some excerpts of the official statement from WBC president Jose Sulaiman, from Fightnews.com:
In regards to the championship defense of the lightweight WBC world champion between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson, held in Los Angeles, California, in which the referee declared a TKO2 against champion Hopkins, as he could not continue due to an injury after a push by challenger Dawson, 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.
The WBC Board of Governors, after reviewing the video of the fight, unanimously declared that the action reflects a Clear intentional lifting the body followed with a push by Dawson to Hopkins, that made him fall on his left side with part of his body out of the ropes.
The WBC considered that point 29 of the rule WC-34, related to fouls was violated: “any rough tactics other than clean punches,” covered the ruling of the WBC.
WBC rule WC-32 was followed for the Boards consideration: “Injuries from head butts, elbows, or other accidental or illegal actions (injury). The following description applies to injuries from not only head butts and elbows, but from any other accidental or illegal action as well if the bout can not continue:
* There will be a point deduction
* Technical draw if before the start of the 5th round
* Technical decision as per scorecards, if after the fifth round
In conclusion, after examining thoroughly the video of the fight and the medical report, as well as the corresponding rules, the WBC Board of Governors decided unanimously to declare the bout as a technical draw and consider Bernard Hopkins still as the WBC light heavyweight champion of the world; the WBC regrets its unavailability of implementing the instant video replay at the fight, due to the fact that the California Commission does not have that rule.
It was a move that was widely expected to happen, and it’s a move that many feel should have happened already. In no way did Chad Dawson stop Bernard Hopkins via his boxing skill or strategy, by the strength of his punches, or anything else.
However, there is something unsettling about the result and the aftermath of the fight. Hopkins regaining a title that we just saw given to Dawson? However righteous or not the win was, Hopkins shouldn’t regain his title status here. After giving the belt to Dawson, you can’t just give it back. The belt should be declared vacant, with an immediate rematch ordered between the two fighters or the next two available contenders if Hopkins is pursuing other fights.