California commission calls Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight a no-contest
The California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday overturned Chad Dawson's World Boxing Council light-heavyweight title victory over Bernard Hopkins, changing the outcome to a no-contest that subtracts a loss from Hopkins and lets him keep his belt.
"Of course I'm disappointed, and I believe the WBC should order a rematch," Dawson promoter Gary Shaw said.
"Mandatories will be addressed on Thursday," WBC executive Mauricio Sulaiman said.
Dawson was credited with a second-round technical knockout Oct. 15 at Staples Center after Hopkins fell to the canvas or was "slammed," according to whichever side you listened to, and suffered a shoulder injury.
The pivotal event in the no-contest ruling, Shaw said, was the changed opinion of referee Pat Russell, who testified Tuesday that the no-contest call was appropriate.
"Justice was served today," Hopkins said in a prepared statement. "Mistakes happen, but what you do to fix those mistakes is what counts."
Shaw said he was pleased to hear one state commissioner warn Hopkins about "crying wolf" with injuries, and Dawson trainer John Scully said an injury as bad as the one Hopkins said he suffered would prevent him from resuming training early next year, as Hopkins says he plans to do.
Although he hyped the bout for months, Hopkins promoter Richard Schaefer previously told The Times the bigger, younger Dawson was not a preferred opponent for Hopkins.
"I don't think Hopkins ever wants to see Chad Dawson again," Shaw said.
Another Hopkins promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, said the 46-year-old "wants the biggest fight possible, and the fight that makes sense is [Lucian] Bute in Canada. That would be huge. There are many options out there for him."
Photo: Bernard Hopkins, left, and Chad Dawson trade punches in the first round. Credit: Jae Hong / Associated Press.