Bernard Hopkins: The Show Must Go On
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.