Bernard Hopkins’ October Loss To Chad Dawson Changed To The No Contest It Always Should Have Been

The California State Athletic Commission voted 5-1 Tuesday to change Bernard Hopkins’ October light heavyweight loss to Chad Dawson from a 2nd round TKO to a no contest. Which is fair enough since, you know, Chad didn’t actually knockout Bernard. He picked him up and dropped him on the canvas, causing B-Hop to injure his shoulder.

It was pretty obvious to all who saw it that Dawson’s throw was a foul, not a legitimate part of the bout. Whether it was deliberate or not was open for debate, but it wasn’t a punch. Mainly because it was a throw. Did I mention it was a throw?

So now the commission has done the right thing in response to an appeal filed by Golden Boy Promotions. B-Hop will keep his title and Chad will go back to being Chad. Not that he ever stopped being Chad. I just wanted to say that.

One of the interesting elements of the whole mess is that the Ring Magazine never stopped recognising B-Hop as the lineal champ at light heavyweight. That was a decision that was seen as strange and a potentially dangerous precedent in October when they announced it. There were two elements of concern: that B-Hop, as a Golden Boy fighter, was getting preferential treatment from the new team at the magazine; and that waiting on appeals in boxing is madness, since one seems to get filed from virtually every fight. For its part, the WBC also continued to recognise Bernard as its title-holder, but they’re not exactly paragons of virtue. The fact that the fight has now been ruled a no contest doesn’t justify either decision. Hopefully this does not become standard behaviour from The Ring.

As for the fighters, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing them in a ring together any time soon/ever. The reported 40,000 pay-per-view buys of the first edition would indicate that people weren’t all that keen originally (though it’s also pretty obvious that that show should never have been on PPV in the first place). B-Hop has been talking about facing Lucian Bute in Quebec. That fight makes sense; he probably made a lot of fans there after his exciting two fights with Jean Pascal. Apparently he’s good to start training in January, after recovering from his shoulder surgeries.

Dawson, whose team still claims that Hopkins was faking it, seems most likely that he’ll face Pascal in a rematch of the fight he lost via technical decision in August 2010. Dawson doesn’t have a whole lot of followers, but I don’t think many boxing fans would have a problem with that fight. The fight was decent the first time, with Dawson coming on hard when the bout was stopped and a rematch would make money in Quebec. Whatever happens, he’ll continue to be Chad.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.