Hopkins keeps title after WBC rules loss to Dawson a technical draw


Dawson’s promoter, Gary Shaw, vehemently disagreed with the WBC’s decision.

“I’m very disappointed because the videos clearly showed that Hopkins committed a foul by jumping on Chad’s back. What happens if he hurts Chad’s neck, or injures Chad’s back to where he has back problems and the rest of the fight he’s got to fight in pain?” said Shaw. 

“I also think that it’s funny that the WBC made a ruling without any MRIs or without any X-rays… I’m not a medical doctor, but I question Hopkins’ injury that night. I still question it. He left that hospital that night too fast. He basically had to be made to fight. Bernard Hopkins never really wanted to fight Chad, and he was looking for a way out, and he got it.”

Shaw said he felt that the WBC was “protecting Golden Boy and Hopkins.”

Shaw brought up the fact that Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), of Canada, already had endured a rough 24 rounds with Hopkins, battling through a disputed draw in December of last year before being dethroned by Hopkins in May by a unanimous decision loss that made Hopkins the oldest man to win a significant title belt.

Pascal still was WBC titleholder in August of last year, when he vanquished Dawson by 11th-round technical decision after an accidental clash of heads caused a cut over Pascal’s eye and forced the verdict to be determined by the judges’ cards.

“When Chad Dawson had a cut over his eye in Canada, they stopped the fight to protect Jean Pascal. The WBC did not rule that Chad still retained his [interim WBC] belt,” said Shaw. “They didn’t give him a technical draw. And then when Hopkins loses to Pascal, they basically say that he gets an automatic rematch. Something is not making sense to me.”


Below are the details of the WBC’s official ruling:


WBC Declares a Technical Draw in Fight Hopkins- Dawson-

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 KOT2 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 California Hospital Medical Center report was also considered by the Board, which states ” … Bernard Hopkins has been released from the California Medical Center in Los Angeles after being x-rayed and examined by Dr. Sam Thurber, MD who diagnosed Hopkins with a separation of the acromioclavicular ( A-C ) joint which connects the collar bone and shoulder blade.

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 score cards (If after the fifth)

Article WC– 33 was also considered:  Body Fouls — except as provided below, there will be no disqualification for fouls to the body.The referee, at his discretion, determines that there was a foul and the ring doctor determines that the fouled boxer cannot continue, the offending boxer will be disqualified. If the doctor determines the fouled boxer can continue fighting but he does not continue, he will lose by abandonment.

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.  

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 the exclusive owners of the trade mark and championship accolades. We hope that the California commission will review our ruling on their next meeting in december.


Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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