Bernard Hopkins: The Show Must Go On

By Robert Ecksel on October 20, 2011
Bernard Hopkins: The Show Must Go On
The audience squirms in its seats, counting the seconds until the next intermission (Ecksel)

Everyone has an opinion about who was the bigger culprit Saturday night, and everyone has a point which is valid on the face of it…

Boxing has been called theater of the unexpected, theater of the absurd, the living theater, and the dying theater.

Its players strut upon boxing’s stage and make bold declarations, sometimes bringing their characters to life and sometimes not, while the audience often squirms in its seats, glancing at their watches, counting the seconds until the next intermission.

The latest and greatest drama was the farce between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson. There’s no need to rehash what went down. Everyone has an opinion about who was the bigger culprit Saturday night, and everyone has a point which is valid on the face of it.

But no sooner does one curtain come down than another curtain goes up, when those in control take center stage to tell the audience what happened, what they’ve seen and just experienced.

The WBC’s Jose Sulaiman has ruled on the fight and this is what he has written: 

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 TKO2 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 scorecards, if after the fifth round

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 cannot 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 trademark and championship accolades – we hope that the California Commission will review our ruling on their next meeting in December.

Welcome back, Bernard. We missed you while you were gone.

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  1. Bloodshot 11:38pm, 10/23/2011

    The WBC was correct. Ref made a bad call. You can’t call a TKO without a punch. Obviously a foul. Ref said no foul. Ref screwed up saying no foul and Hopkins cant go on so it’s a TKO. Where did he get his training? And why rush him out and put a gag order on him?

  2. The Thresher 02:07pm, 10/23/2011

    JC45 has the beat.

  3. JC45 01:58pm, 10/23/2011

    Another terrible piece of officiating by the referee. Similar in some ways to Mayweather - Ortiz. I had no problem with what Dawson or Mayweather did but the refs got both calls wrong. Cortez never clearly said ” Box” and didnt even see the left hook Floyd hit Ortiz with. That fight should have been a NC as should have Dawson v Hopkins. Bernard should retire. I’m one of his biggest fans but it was obvious to me he was looking for a way out. Chad looked too big , too young and unlike Pascal, Chad can box. He has a great right jab. Hopkins like all us old blokes is very hot and cold . He looked absolutely terrible against Ornelas and Roy Jones before looking good against Pascal. Probably because Pascal cannot box at all and doesnt have any stamina.

  4. "Old Yank" Schneider 10:08am, 10/21/2011

    Now, with over 12,000 votes in the ESPN poll, it remains close to 60/40 who believe the WBC did the right thing in returning the belt to Hopkins.

  5. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:15am, 10/21/2011

    Mike Schmidt—Your 1-6 list is right on!

  6. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:13am, 10/21/2011

    Poll of over 8,000 votes on ESPN: Did the WBC do the right thing in returning the light heavyweight belt to Hopkins?  RESULT: 60/40 approve of the action.  In an attached question: Who will win the rematch?  RESULT: Hopkins 69/31 over Dawson.  Looks like the poll was stuffed with a disproportionate number of Hopkins fans which probably skewed the “right decision” numbers toward Hopkins a bit.  Bottom line—PLENTY of fans (about 40%) in a poll of over 8,000 votes don’t like this at all.

  7. mikecasey 05:51am, 10/21/2011

    At least it’s been a longer fight than the fight.

  8. The Thresher 05:18am, 10/21/2011

    It’s just about all over but the shouting.

  9. Snowsy 02:28am, 10/21/2011

    Plain and simple, the WBC contradicted the appointed official. If Sulaiman had simply said “That was the referee’s determination, and we appointed him for exactly that purpose - to make a call” I still wouldn’t be smiling, because the fight sucked. But I’d sure prefer it.

    The perception that any ruling can be overturned if it’s unpopular with the public and powers-that-be make this sport an insincere mess, or a festering and rotting cesspool if you’re more into nasty visuals. But hey, we keep one loser who can’t sing on American Idol longer than we should too - yay for the public wielding power!

    Imagine if a week after the Superbowl - based on fan polling of who they would have preferred to see win and the Fox networks wishes for a larger market team to be victorious - the title was stripped from the Green Bay Packers and declared vacant, with Roger Goodell citing that after a protest by the Steelers and Fox, and a review of the videotape that showed that a “holding” call was missed on the winning drive.

    That wouldn’t smell a little funny, would it? Anyways, I refuse to congratulate Hopkins - he didn’t win. But I suppose I should congratulate Golden Boy Promotions, cuz they sure as hell did.

  10. David Matthew 04:37pm, 10/20/2011

    lol @ the “new cali light hw champ’—i don’t expect the CSAC to exercise independent judgment and contradict the WBC on this - but I would be impressed if they did.

  11. mike schmidt 04:35pm, 10/20/2011

    Hey hey David. I am waiting to see how boxrec ends up posting this. We have the WBC over the local boxing commish- well now THAT will certainly open up a big can of nasty, smelly worms… boxrec ****Chad Dawson TKO winner, ahhh Chad Dawson WBC Champion no longer, by California Boxing Commish still a champ, ahhhh Chad Dawson ****not WBC champ but champ by TKO by California Boxing Commish HEY HEY what the hell Chad Dawson is the new California Light Heavy Champ- now we do not even need a commish….OR OR OR TIME FOR A NATIONAL BOXING COMMISH ......

  12. David Matthew 03:51pm, 10/20/2011

    I thought it was the improper ruling by the WBC - clearly lobbied by the powerful GBP….i am not surprised at the decision at all - but think that Dawson was robbed.

  13. MIKE SCHMIDT 03:23pm, 10/20/2011

    1) Hopkins has not dropped anyone in over 7 years ( Oscar D, big deal) zzzzzzzz 2) The bigger question is how do we all get a refund and 3) who gives a shit otherwise because I do not want to see anymore of this type of fight action for sure annnd 4) Between this and Mayweather vs Ortiz, Khan vs Judah any hope of attracting new fans….ZERO !!!!!! and 5) I love Scully post fight comments…. 6) next weekend we will see little big men, Marquez vs Conception II, and they will fight, injury or no injury until there is nothing left in the tank= that is real warrior action…..

  14. The Thresher 02:54pm, 10/20/2011

    Poll from another site:

    What should California do with the Hopkins vs Dawson appeal?

    Nothing - keep the result as is
    94 votes

    Change it to a no-contest
    470 votes

    Change it to a DQ win for Hopkins
    157 votes

    Total Votes
    721 votes

    So, one of the question mightl be how GBP trys to leverage these kinds of findings to help with Hopkin’s case. The court of public opinion (one that I never give much credit to) may likely play a role here. If I were GBP, I would start a letter campaign and drown the Cali Commission with opinions. Nor sure Dawson’s team is up to those kind of techniques.

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