Hopkins gets title back
Veteran regains title after controversial defeat changed to a draw
Last Updated: October 21, 2011 7:47am
Bernard Hopkins has regained the WBC light-heavyweight title he lost in controversial circumstances after his defeat against Chad Dawson was changed to a technical draw.
Last Saturday's fight had ended in contentious fashion as Dawson threw Hopkins to the canvas in the second round and was awarded a technical knockout when the injured veteran could not continue.
Referee Pat Russell ruled that Dawson had not committed a foul so Hopkins was handed the first stoppage defeat of his 23-year career.
Hopkins immediately lodged an appeal, however, and WBC officials have disagreed with the referee and adjudged that a draw was the correct result as the incident occurred before the fifth round.
Dawson had angrily suggested that Hopkins had feigned injury in order to get out of the fight, but it later emerged that the 46-year-old suffered a dislocation of the joint connecting his left shoulder and collarbone.
It remains to be seen whether the WBC will order a rematch between the two fighters.
Hopkins, who had been lined up as a future opponent for Nathan Cleverly, became the oldest fighter to claim a major world title in May when he beat Jean Pascal on points to claim the belt.
The WBC, in their judgement, stated that Dawson's 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."
They also said that Dawson violated the rule barring "any rough tactics other than clean punches" and since it occurred prior to the fifth round it should have resulted in a technical draw, rather than a technical decision based on scorecards.