By Nick Tylwalk
After high drama in the co-feature between Antonio DeMarco and Jorge Linares, the crowd should be fired up for the main event at the Staples Center between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson. At 46 years of age. Hopkins will try to beat back Father Time once more against a very talented younger fighter who is hungry for a signature win.
Dawson enters first as the challenger for Hopkins' WBC light heavyweight title. He is 30-1 with 17 KOs in his pro career, though he's managed only one victory since losing to Jean Pascal 14 months ago.
Hood up and kask on, Hopkins makes his ring walk in a bright red and green robe. The former undisputed middleweight champion is 52-5-2 with 32 knockout victories in one of the finest careers in this or any other era.
Michael Buffer is on hand to do the official introductions. The referee in charge of the action is Pat Russell. And we're ready to go for a scheduled 12 rounds of boxing.
Hopkins lays back as Dawson stalks him a bit. Chad reaches a bit, but Hopkins leads with the right and rushes forward, head down. Hopkins avoids the jabs coming his way. Dawson touches Hopkins several times to force him back. B-Hop's footwork has made him hard to pin down. Dawson wades in with a combination that at least partially scores. They scramble in the corner to end a round where not much landed.
Tylwalk: 10-9 Dawson
Parker: 10-9 Hopkins
Hopkins has to like this pace so far. But Dawson really isn't a super busy fighter either. Lots of feinting and wrestling. Russell is really going to earn his pay. Dawson measures but can't land anything. Hopkins mugs Dawson with a right hand, and the ref warns him about pushing Chad down. B-Hop throws a right to the body. Left by Dawson before he gets grabbed. Dawson lands two jabs and s short hook. Dawson picks Hopkins up and body slams him down. The ref calls time to examine Bernard, whose head is under the ropes on the apron of the ring. Hopkins is saying his left shoulder is injured. The bell rings, and it appears this one is over. The ref says he will not call it a foul. Dawson is furious, screaming at Hopkins across the ring. The ref insists that there is no foul, making it a TKO victory for Dawson. Max Kellerman disagrees, as does Emanuel Steward.
Russell is insisting that there was no foul. The replay didn't make it look as bad as it did live, though B-Hop did land on his left elbow. Still no word on the official decision.
The winner by TKO at 2:48 of Round 2... and new WBC and Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion... "Bad" Chad Dawson.
Max Kellerman gets an explanation from the commission but doesn't necessarily agree with it. Dawson says he threw a shoulder because Hopkins kept pushing him down. He's mad because he feels B-Hop let a lot of people down by not continuing to fight. Chad insists he was getting closer and closer and Hopkins wanted a way out.
Asked about what's next, Dawson says he wants to avenge his loss to Jean Pascal. He dismisses the possibility of a rematch by saying, "For what?"
The fans also boo Hopkins and start an obscene chant as he talks to Kellerman. B-Hop claims he was thrown down and was not allowed to continue because he had a lump on his shoulder. He insists he would have kept fighting if allowed. Hopkins doesn't want to talk about things that may have happened in the past, feeling it has no bearing on the outcome tonight. Despite the boos, Hopkins thinks the fans know Dawson doesn't deserve to be the champion. He also says it should have been a No Decision since there was a foul involved, at least in his mind.
Lampley and Harold Lederman discuss the ending, with Lederman opining that an accidental foul should have been ruled, leading to an ND. Emanuel Steward is sure this won't be the end of this drama, because legal action is going to be forthcoming. Lampley wants an interview with referee Russell, though Kellerman believes the commission is correct in getting its facts straight and that the decision is likely to be overturned in time. Despite the fact that Hopkins wouldn't answer a question about it, Max also adds that Hopkins may have been penalized for some of his theatrics in the past.
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