RingTV.com sought the opinions of various members of the boxing community regarding the California State Athletic Commission’s decision, by a vote of 5-to-1, on Tuesday to overturn the original ruling on the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson light heavyweight title bout that took place in Los Angeles on Oct. 15.
Tuesday’s decision changed the first verdict from a second-round TKO victory for Dawson to a “No Decision” during an afternoon hearing in Van Nuys, Calif.
After reviewing video tape of the HBO-televised bout, which ended abruptly when Hopkins suffered a shoulder injury as the result of being shoved to the canvas by Dawson in the second round, the commission, which regulates boxing in California, ruled that Dawson’s action was an unintentional foul.
In accordance with state regulations, and the Unified Rules of the sport, a bout that is halted because of an unitentional foul (such as an accidental headbutt that causes a bad cut) before the fourth round is completed is to be ruled a No Decision, in which case, a defending titleholder (as Hopkins was in the Dawson fight) retains his belt.
Referee Pat Russell, who officiated the Oct. 15 bout, originally ruled that Hopkins was technically knocked out because he could not continue fighting, which resulted in Dawson winning the THE RING and WBC titles. The call was controversial and Hopkins and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, filed an immediate complaint with the California commission.
THE RING continued to recognize Hopkins as the light heavyweight champ until the dispute was resolved in the scheduled Tuesday hearing.
RingTV.com culled the community for various thoughts about the CSAC’s move.
“My overall thought is that what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. The fact that Dawson did do what he he did and threw Hopkins on the ground, I mean, it was a foul, man. It was a legitimate foul
“That kind of goes with the situation like when I fought Nate Campbell, the headbutt had occurred, and it opened up a gash over Nate’s head and, you know, and it didnt’ go the right amount of rounds, and it was a no-contest.
“So, I mean, a foul is a foul, and California’s pretty strict on rules, and I experienced it and that’s what it is and that’s what it was.
“So I think that it was a good move by California to actually review the tape and to say that Dawson actually threw Hopkins on the ground,” Tim Bradley, RING No. 8-rated pound-for-pound and WBO junior welterweight beltholder.
“I can go along with that. I mean, technically, it was a no-contest. The fight ended the way that it ended in, what was it, the second round? So basically, it was a not-contest and the fight ended on an accident.
“I think that they should do a rematch, because, basically, it’s like the fight never happened. So, I think that the right decision was made, and I can go along with California’s ruling,” Kevin Cunningham, trainer of RING No. 4-rated former junior welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander.
“Well, I truly believe that Hopkins could have continued, and I think that he played it off. But that doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean that it should be a loss. Because Dawson did slam him to the floor.
“He did push him down. So I think that it is a good decision from the commission to call it a no-contest. I truly believe that Hopkins could have gotten up and could have continued, and that he made up that shoulder excuse.
“But Dawson did pick him up and slam him down in the ring. That calls for a no-contest. I think that that’s the right decision. But, I think that Hopkins just found a way out and didn’t want to continue,” Robert Garcia, trainer of RING No. 4-rated pound-for-pound Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, Mikey Garcia and others.