Boxing’s WBC Board of Governors decided Thursday to hand the
light heavyweight crown back to Bernard Hopkins, overturning a
referee’s decision to strip the aging champ of his title last
weekend against Chad Dawson.
After reviewing the fight, the board overturned the
controversial ruling of a technical knockout and declared the fight
a technical draw thus giving Hopkins back his belt.
“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,” read a statement on the WBC’s
Controversy immediately engulfed Saturday’s bout in Los Angeles
after Dawson appeared to lift Hopkins off his feet in the second
round, forcing the 46-year-old to fall awkwardly on the canvas.
Hopkins, who immediately clutched his right shoulder in obvious
pain, was unable to continue his title-defending bout against the
29-year-old Dawson. But instead of declaring a no contest, referee
Pat Russell awarded the TKO to Dawson, ending Hopkins’ reign as
boxing’s oldest world champion.
X-rays later confirmed Hopkins suffered a separation where the
collarbone and shoulder blade join.
Hopkins bitterly protested the decision, which marked the first
time in his long career he had been stopped inside the distance
since turning pro in 1988.