Score another one for the theater of the unexpected, and this whacky ending so soon after the Mayweather-Ortiz looniness.
Chad Dawson scored a TKO win in round two at the Staples Center on Saturday night, after he dumped Bernard Hopkins to the mat with a tackle, and the ageless wonder complained his left shoulder was hurt, so ref Pat Russell stopped the bout at 2:48.
Ref Russell said it was not a deliberate act, not a foul. It looked like a deliberate foul on the part of Dawson. It was basically a tackle, as Hopkins jumped in, Dawson ducked, lifted him up, and dumped him. But since Russell didn't see it that way, the choice impacted Hopkins mightily.
Hopkins had ice on his shoulder in the ring as fans awaited the call, having no idea that Russell was going to declare Dawson the winner, because Hopkins, he said, could not continue. Dawson chattered that Hopkins quit, and yelled at him after the stoppage, while awaiting Michael Buffer's announcement. Hopkins, age 46, expressed bewilderment at the ref's decision to award a TKO win to the Connecticut fighter Dawson.
George Dodd of the California Commission said that because the ref didn't call a foul, his TKO call was righteous, when speaking to Max Kellerman after the strange ending.
Dawson said to Kellerman that Hopkins disappointed fans. “Yeah he was faking,” he said to Kellerman, when Max broached the subject. “Bernard can't touch me, I was getting closer and closer and he knew that.”
Dawson watched a replay, and said he couldn't see how Hopkins' shoulder was hurt. “I'm the new champion, I don't care what the critics say.” (For the record, Hopkins has been at times shall we say overly demonstrative at times when fouled, as he was not long ago when Roy Jones rabbit punched him.)
Dawson said he wants Jean Pascal next. “Rematch (with Hopkins) for what?” he said.
Hopkins then spoke to Kellerman, as the fans booed him. He watched the replay. “He picked me up by my two legs and he threw me down..”
He said he told the ref he could continue, and the ref stopped it. Hopkins said he would have continued if he'd been told that the fight would end. Max said in the past he has faked injuries and Hopkins took offense. “They want me out of boxing, this is a way to do it,” he said.
What's next? He said Golden Boy will do what they have to. He said the fight should have been a No Contest. “This ain't the UFC, this ain't MMA…he tackled me to the ground,” Hopkins said.
Harold Lederman said that a TKO has be caused by a blow. He called this event an accidental foul, and stated the decision should have been a No Decision. “There was no blow to cause a knockout,” Lederman said.
Jim Lampley asked Lederman why the Commission hustled Russell out of the ring, and didn't let him be interviewed. Lederman said because ref and commissions are worried about being hassled on camera.
They should have taken a break, and gone to an instant replay. The fans in the arena deserved it, the fans who bough the PPV deserved it.
Looks to me like Russell and the commission messed up, royally, and basically, the fans got the short end of it. Either Russell should have said that Dawson's conduct caused the fight to end and disqualified him, or I think more appropriately, he should have declared a No Contest, because an accidental foul halted the even before four round were completed.