Chad Dawson used a mixed martial arts move to beat Bernard Hopkins and Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco perhaps showed Jorge Linares that a fight is never over until it’s over in two shocking results on Saturday.
In a stacked Golden Boy Promotions fight card featuring two world title fights, a crowd anxious to see the dramatic world title defense of Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs), the oldest world champion ever, were left with a deflation of hopes as a fight was stopped and ruled a technical knockout in Dawson’s (31-1, 21 KOs) favor without a punch deciding it at 2:48 of round two.
The crowd was stunned and angered.
Hopkins showed in the first round that his clever movements and feints could offset the physical advantages of former champion Dawson who had a decided size and arm length advantage. Quick right lead counters by Hopkins landed a few times and Dawson landed a solid left in the first round. It looked like both were intent on measuring each others’ speed and foot placement.
Round two began with Dawson moving closer and Hopkins moving one side or the other, holding and hitting. After a few of these encounters it seemed clear that both were anxious to establish dominance and style. Then, Hopkins charged and Dawson ducked under, grabbed one leg and partially the other, and deposited the elder fighter on his back and shoulder off the ropes. Hopkins did not get up and referee Pat Russell hunched over the fallen fighter, said a few words, and stood up and declared the fight over by technical knockout. No blow was ever thrown during the MMA style take down.
Anger percolated everywhere.
‘This ain’t the UFC,” shouted Hopkins.
Dawson shouted angrily at Hopkins who was still being attended by ringside doctors and his own corner men. The crowd who had arrived expecting to witness history saw it, but not the kind that is remembered fondly.
“He quit. You saw it,” said Dawson.
Hopkins showed his injured left shoulder and said he could have continued but was never given that option by the referee.
“Listen to the tape,” Hopkins said. “My shoulder is out.”
Russell was unavailable for comment but it looks like this will be reviewed by the California State Athletic Commission very soon.
DeMarco KOs Linares
In another stunner, Venezuela’s two-time world champion Linares (31-2, 20 KOs), who is now fighting at lightweight under tutelage of Freddie Roach, was cruising along against Mexico’s southpaw slugger DeMarco (26-2-1, 19 KOs).
Three rounds passed with Linares showing his boxing abilities, speed and combination while quickly moving out of range of DeMarco’s counters. But for anyone who has ever seen DeMarco, that was not going to last.
The rangy DeMarco stepped it up in round four with some down the middle left hands and right hooks. It was a southpaw from Mexico, Juan Salgado, who had knocked Linares out for his only defeat.
DeMarco belted Linares again in round five and forced the action with some toe-to-toe inside fighting. A vicious cut over the nose of Linares appeared to stream steadily from that moment on.
Linares used his speed and movement to regain the momentum but was cut on the right eye and looked like the losing fighter, though it was apparent he was ahead on the score cards. But DeMarco usually doesn’t win fights on style points.
The Venezuelan was showing determination and skill but was caught with a straight left down the middle followed by a right hook and the onslaught was on. DeMarco slipped into another gear and began pressuring Linares who decided to stand and fight the Mexican fighter’s style. It was a bad idea as DeMarco punched while the bloody Linares punched and was in his element. Uppercuts, left crosses and right hooks landed flush for DeMarco. At 2:11 of round 11 referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight to give DeMarco the win by technical knockout.
Brooklyn’s Paul Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs) was stunned in the first round by Mexico’s Orlando Lora (28-2-1, 19 KOs) but after that it was all his.
Using a snapping left jab, and moving side to side, Malignaggi never allowed Lora to tee off again. And when the Mexican fighter hesitated Malignaggi machine gunned him with blows up and down his body.
For 10 rounds Malignaggi showed what a world class fighter can do against a good puncher as he dominated each frame with a stiff left jab, lead right hands, and left hooks while moving out of range. It was an advance course on the high art of world class fighting.
Lora tried his best and when he lunged too far he was met with left hooks and a stiff jab that would deliver him backwards.
Perhaps now Golden Boy Promotions will see him as a pretty tough guy to beat in the welterweight division. All three judges scored it for Malignaggi.
Garcia Wins By Split Decision
In a junior welterweight clash Danny “Swift” Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs) out-punched former world champion Kendall Holt (27-5, 15 KOs) to win a by split decision after 12 rounds.
Holt was hurt by a shot or at least feigned being hurt and tried to catch Garcia wide open as he did against Julio Diaz earlier this year. Garcia sidestepped the move and went on to win the fight and gain ground in the junior welterweight standings.
Freddy Hernandez (30-2, 20 KOs) beat Luis Collazo (31-5, 16 KOs) by decision in a welterweight fight.
Nick Casal (22-4-1, 17 KOs) stopped Michael Anderson (11-1-1) at 2:51 in round three.
DonYil Livingston (6-0-1, 3 KOs) won by decision over Kurtiss Colvin (6-1, 5 KOs).
Dewey Bozella (1-0) beat Larry Hopkins by decision. It was Bozella’s first and last fight as a pro. He had spent 26 years in prison and was exonerated recently. He said he wishes to teach boxing to kids to keep them off the streets.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV