Friday, October 21, 2011

WBC Declares Bout a Daw and Hopkins Is The Champion

By Rich Mancuso

Bernard Hopkins got justice Thursday when the World Boxing Council Board of Governors declared the title bout with Chad Dawkins a technical draw and said they still consider Hopkins the WBC light heavyweight champion. Though the decision rendered, from the WBC at their offices in Mexico City is official, and on record, and until the California State Athletic Commission makes their decision, Dawson is still the champion.

However, the consensus is that in a few weeks or less the California commission will abide by the WBC decision. As to a return bout with Hopkins and Dawson, the assumption is Hopkins will once again defend the title if a bout takes place. That all depends on the condition of Hopkins who is expected to recuperate for six months due to the diagnosed shoulder separation that occurred in the second round stoppage of the fight this past Saturday on HBO Pay-Per-View from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The WBC cited Rule WC-33. “Injuries from head butts, elbows or other accidental illegal actions (injuries) and body fouls,” of which Dawson is clearly shown doing to Hopkins at the height of that second round. They said a description of a head butt, elbow, or accidental injury should not be considered a TKO, a decision that was made by referee Pat Russell.

The commission, after the fight endorsed the decision by Russell and said they would review the fight. Golden Boy Promotions and their CEO Richard Schaefer, promoter of Hopkins, officially filed a protest with the WBC and California Commission a day after the fight. There was no word from Hopkins, Dawson, Golden Boy, or the commission after the WBC decision.

As of Monday, Hopkins said he would not retire. The World Boxing Council released a statement after Hopkins’ promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, filed a protest over the ruling of a technical knockout and said they would have a decision by Friday. But it was obvious that a major sanctioning organization of the sport did not want this issue to drag, realizing the call from boxing fans was that Dawson should not have been granted a TKO and the title.

The WBC also stated, “Any rough tactics other than clean punches,” was a basis for their ruling, as again it was obvious that Dawson pushed Hopkins that enabled him to fall and not continue. The ruling is a part of their bylaws stating the fight should be a technical draw with emphasis on their being a point deduction, a technical draw if before the start of the fifth round, a technical decision as per scorecards if after the fifth round.

The WBC based their conclusion after examining video of the fight, the medical report about Hopkins, and their corresponding rules. “The WBC decided unanimously to declare the bout a technical draw and still consider Bernard Hopkins the WBC light heavyweight champion of the world,” said the statement.

“The WBC regrets its unavailability of implementing the instant replay at the fight due to the fact that the California Commission does not have that rule.” Hopkins earlier this week advocated for the implementation of replay for the sport, something that is not a unified rule with various state athletic commissions and control boards that hold boxing events in the United States.

In reference to the replay statement, they added, “The WBC respects and can not intervene in the decisions of the boxing commissions where the fights happen. But it does intervene in regards of the recognition of a WBC title of the world by being exclusive owners of the trademark and championship accolades.”

They concluded that it is their hope the California Commission will review their decision at their next hearing in December.

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