Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson: My Take on the Controversial Outcome

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Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson: My Take on the Controversial Outcome
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Just what boxing needed after the Mayweather Jr. vs. Ortiz drama: more drama and uncertainty.

There is so much to say about the outcome of the Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2) vs. Chad Dawson (31-1-0), but the words just don’t seem to surface in my mind.

Was this fight properly judged and ruled by the referee, Pat Russell? I believe the answer should clearly be a solid no. Unmistakably, this was a no-contest ending, with a butchered result due to the wrongdoing of Pat Russell along with the California State Athletic Commission.

Everyone calling the fight, along with Max Kellerman and Emanuel Steward, seemed to agree on the fallacy of this ruling.

Before going any further, let’s look at the clear-cut facts evident on the replays of the incident.

First and foremost, before hitting the canvas, both of Bernard’s feet were off the ground as Dawson made his move. This in itself spells for a foul for Dawson.

If nothing happened, then nothing would need to be addressed. But something did happen; Hopkins was thrown and ended up on the ground. This is a fact that, and will remain that.

Was this injury faked or intentionally escalated by Hopkins? Anything is possible, including that. Some of the HBO crew pointed out something very interesting and important about Bernard’s landing: he landed on his elbow.

Knowing your anatomy, the best more likely way to separate a shoulder is to hit the elbow with much force. If Bernard fell directly on his shoulder, I would have much less believe in the authenticity of his injury, but since it was the elbow that was directly impacted, his shoulder injury is likely to be genuine.

Some people who were physically at the fight and had the opportunity to see Hopkins right after the injury, say that there is a clear visible inflammation surrounding the shoulder.     

It’s hard to write about this outcome and not take anything away from Dawson. He was fighting a very good fight, just as Hopkins was. Dawson showed a lot of attributes that could have given him a win in that fight had it continued.

At the same time, the fight ended where it did, so calling Dawson a clear winner is also tricky. A win is a win, but a wrong ruling is not.

Personally, I think that Dawson did well in the fight, but didn’t have enough time to clearly show himself a winner. Hopkins was also doing his thing, proving to be effective in his own way.

I can clearly understand why Hopkins wants a rematch, but am completely lost as to why Dawson doesn’t. This fight will not, and should not, label Chad Dawson as a Bernard Hopkins conqueror.

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