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WBC lets Bernard Hopkins keep belt with technical draw ruling

October 20, 2011 |  4:38 pm


The World Boxing Council on Thursday ruled Chad Dawson did not defeat light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins by technical knockout, as officials working the Saturday fight at Staples Center ruled.

Instead, the WBC ruled the outcome was a technical draw, allowing Hopkins, 46, to keep his belt.

"I'm obviously thrilled by that decision," Hopkins' promoter, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, said. "It's the right decision. Bernard Hopkins did not lose that fight."

Dawson was deemed the winner after Hopkins fell to the canvas and separated his left shoulder in the second round of their title fight. With Hopkins unable to continue, referee Pat Russell named Dawson the winner.

Schaefer has already appealed the outcome to the California State Athletic Commission, and commission executive officer George Dodd said a hearing on the matter is scheduled Dec. 13 in Los Angeles.

Hopkins-Dawson fared poorly at the Staples box office and pitifully on HBO pay-per-view.

And after Dawson promoter Gary Shaw said his fighter had no interest in giving Hopkins a rematch, Schaefer is reciprocating.

Schaefer said he'll meet with Hopkins in the near future and discuss other options.

"Ticket sales and the pay-per-view were poor, and it certainly had nothing to do with Bernard Hopkins," Schaefer said.

Yes, he actually said that.

Schaefer later added Hopkins is "a proven star."

Sorry, a proven star carries a pay-per-view to the 300,000-400,000 range even when he has an obvious victory. Schaefer tried to talk up high HBO ratings and a big live gate in Canada for Hopkins-Jean Pascal earlier this year. Pascal's from Canada.

So now, on the strength of less than two rounds of action and lackluster sales, a fight that was being hyped all last week by Golden Boy and ended in controversy now has no relevance?

OK, we get it.

Maybe that relevance was tarnished by putting the fight on pay-per-view. Staging a bout between a fighter from Philadelphia (Hopkins) and one from Connecticut (Dawson) was also puzzling.

"I don't need a media guy to tell me how to do a pay-per-view," Schaefer said. "We tried to sell the fight. Chad Dawson is not as charismatic as he needs to be to sell a pay-per-view. Our team [knows] how to market a pay-per-view. We know what we're doing."

Fine, but the lack of appeal in Hopkins has something to do with this.

In the meantime, we'll wait for Schaefer to find another opponent to prove his point.


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Photo: Bernard Hopkins grimaces in pain after separating his shoulder during his fight with Chad Dawson. Credit: Jae Hong / Associated Press.