Boxing Council Orders Hopkins-Dawson Rematch

December 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

HopkinsDawsonWeighIn_Hoganphotos_(3)The World Boxing Council last week ordered a rematch between light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and former titleholder Chad Dawson at its 49th annual convention in Las Vegas. The Hopkins-Dawson rematch order came two days after the California State Athletic Commission changed the result of their controversial October 15th fight in Los Angeles from a second-round knockout in Dawson’s favor to a no decision following Hopkins’ protest.

Originally, referee Pat Russell ruled Dawson a TKO winner after he lifted Hopkins up and dumped him to the canvas because Hopkins was draped over his back after missing a punch. Hopkins suffered a shoulder injury and could not continue. The WBC, which sanctioned the bout, had already kept Hopkins as its champion following the fight and now has ordered a rematch with the caveat of “unless their representatives mutually agree to another arrangement.” That means the two camps could try to make a deal or agree to do at least one interim bout.

Gary Shaw, Dawson’s promoter, was pleased with the WBC’s decision. “I think justice has been served,” he told ESPN.com. “When Hopkins had a draw with Pascal, the WBC gave him an immediate rematch. And now they have done the same thing for Dawson after the controversy.”

When Dawson thought he was champion after being declared the winner in October, he vowed not to give Hopkins a rematch. After the result was changed Tuesday, he said he wanted a rematch, but Hopkins said he would not fight Dawson again. Now that the WBC has ordered a rematch, Hopkins said he would take the fight, which might not actually happen because the first fight was such a commercial disaster that finding a network to put up the money required to make the fight could be very difficult. That is why the sides may agree to look for different fights.
Hopkins has now come to grips with the idea of a rematch. “Let’s get the ball rolling,” Hopkins, told ESPN.com after leaving the convention. “The fans got cheated because of circumstances in the first fight. Now they get an opportunity to get their money’s worth. It’s been a really interesting 48 hours. Things are different now because of that (order). Let’s get it on. The bottom line is a champion defends his belt. That’s what champions do. I believe I am the best at light heavyweight. So my whole thing is champions defend, they don’t get stripped, they don’t throw belts away. I’ve done it for 20 years and I ain’t changing my stripes today.”

But, the fight will have to make financial sense, says Hopkins. “Whatever is best economically without having my belt stripped then I’m fine with that,” he said. “I duck no one. I never did. But if the fans and the people and the networks believe that Chad Dawson don’t draw bees to honey — and this is a business — then that is what it is. I’ve earned this championship belt and I am not ready to leave.”

The 46-year-old Hopkins insists that he is not fearful of rematches, as witnessed by his track record. “My record speaks for itself. I’m normally victorious the second time round,” he said. After a draw with Pascal last December, he outpointed him in May to become the oldest fighter to win a world title. He then avenged a loss to Roy Jones last year.

Hopkins defeated Antwun Echols in a rematch of a prior win, twice defeated Robert Allen after their first bout ended in a no contest and knocked out Segundo Mercado to win his first world title at middleweight after their first fight ended in a draw. Only Jermain Taylor got the better of Hopkins in both meetings.

Hopkins’ promoter, Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer, however, is not in favor of the rematch with Dawson. “I think that there is no interest in this fight,” he told ESPN.com. “As long as the fighters know that, and they are OK with whatever money there is, then why would I want to stop that fight from happening? I really just want to do fights the public would want to see and where I know going into the fight that it will be entertaining. I just don’t think that these two styles mesh.”

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Bernard Hopkins Loss Overturned!

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-10-15T045954Z_01_BTRE79E0DVZ00_RTROPTP_3_SPORTS-US-BOXING-HOPKINSFive days after the fight, the World Boxing Council (WBC) made a ruling on last Saturday night’s fight between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson that came to a premature conclusion at the end of the second round as Hopkins suffered a damaged right shoulder after being lifted and sent to the canvas by Dawson. Referee Pat Russell ruled that no foul was committed, therefore since Hopkins was unable or unwilling to continue, the WBC light heavyweight title would change hands. Ultimately, Dawson was declared the winner via second round TKO.

Here is the WBC’s explanation of their ruling:

In regards to the championship defense of the light heavyweight WBC world champion between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson, held in Los Angeles, California, in which the referee declared a KOT2 against champion Hopkins, as he could not continue due to an injury after a push by challenger Dawson, the head offices of the WBC sent videos, medical reports and the WBC corresponding Rules to the Board of Governors that unanimously declared a Technical Draw on the fight; therefore, Bernard Hopkins is still the WBC Light heavyweight champion of the world…

It does not appear that the WBC is demanding a rematch. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Goy Promotions, told Maxboxing, “Gary Shaw and Chad Dawson make it clear that they don’t want to have a rematch. We made it clear that we don’t want a rematch and I think if you ask 100 people, fight fans, you’re probably going to have a 120 that respond, “No, we don’t want the rematch.” So I don’t think there’s interest, any appetite for the rematch and there’s no need for a rematch. I think Chad Dawson should move on and I’m sure there’s going to be good fights out there for him. I don’t know: maybe there’s a rematch with Jean Pascal. I think that’s what he would like to do. Go and pursue other fights, increase his marketability and fan base, then who knows? Other big fights will come for him. That’s what I think should happen.

The California commission will not convene until December to rule on the matter (which irks Schaefer to no end) but regardless of the ruling, he doesn’t believe this effects Hopkins’ deal with HBO. “I just spoke with Bernard. He was, of course, pleased that the WBC continues to recognize him as their light heavyweight champion. He’s going to get the results tomorrow from the MRI and the doctor’s opinion for how long he’s going to be out of having contact. How long it’s going to take him before he can get back in the ring and that’s what’s going to determine what I’m going to go back to HBO with, for securing Bernard’s next date.” Schaefer indicated that he hopes to see Hopkins back in the ring in spring of 2012.

As for Russell, Schaefer really has no hard feelings. In fact, he still respects him as a referee. “I really think Pat Russell had…and you can’t even say he had an off-night. He admitted in the interview he did with [Maxboxing] he just didn’t see it. And I think that happens. Nobody is perfect and sees everything. It’s impossible. So I’m really giving him the benefit of the doubt. I just think if they’re going to make arguments that it wasn’t a foul and that it was legal and all this kind of thing, that’s when I’m going to have a problem but I highly doubt that the California commission is going to take that kind of approach. It’s impossible.”

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Bernard Hopkins Loses in Controversial TKO

October 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Hopkins-Dawson-presser-4Philadelphia’s Muslim boxer Bernard Hopkins lost his WBC light heavyweight title to challenger Chad Dawson in a controversial Technical KnockOut (TKO) in Los Angeles. Hopkins lost as part of a stopped fight for the first time in his career in bizarre fashion when Dawson lifted him and tossed him to the canvas late in the second round, leaving the 46-year-old champion unable to continue.

Dawson (31-1, 18 KOs) claimed the WBC light heavyweight title from Hopkins (52-6-2), but both fighters were left furious and screaming when referee Pat Russell ruled Dawson hadn’t fouled Hopkins, whose promoter immediately said he’ll protest the result. “They want me out of boxing, and this is one way to do it,” Hopkins told the press. “Chad Dawson came in the ring tonight, and he just wanted to rough me up with dirty tactics. He wanted to get me out of there, and that was the only way he could.”

After five unmemorable minutes, everything happened in an instant: Hopkins leaned over the crouching Dawson after throwing an overhand right, and Dawson lifted Hopkins off his feet by standing up before shrugging him onto the canvas. Hopkins landed awkwardly on his left shoulder, his head poking underneath the bottom rope, and might have glanced off the ringside table. Hopkins immediately clutched his shoulder and grimaced in pain, apparently unable to continue.

“He jumped on me and was pulling me down, so I pushed him off with the shoulder,” Dawson said. “B-Hop disappointed a lot of fans. I was looking forward to a good fight. I trained eight weeks for this. … Yes, he was faking. This is a fight I wanted for three years, and Bernard obviously didn’t want the fight.”

Hopkins said he told Russell he would continue fighting “with one arm,” but Russell waved off the fight and declared a TKO. Just like that, a long-awaited showdown between the ageless light heavyweight champion and his top young rival was over, enraging the lively Staples Center crowd. “It was not a foul,” Russell said. “It’s a TKO. He could not continue because of an injury. No foul.”

After waiting several years and training relentlessly for the fight, Dawson was apoplectic when Hopkins stayed down on the ground, taunting him and climbing on the ropes. When Russell waved off the fight, Dawson went over to Hopkins and motioned at him to get off his stool, repeatedly cursing at him.

“I knew he didn’t want the fight,” Dawson said. “He keeps talking about Philly and being a gangster. He’s no gangster. Gangsters don’t quit. He’s weak. He’s a weak physically- and mentally-minded person. He has no power.”

Golden Boy President Richard Schaefer, Hopkins’ promoter, said he’ll protest to the California State Athletic Commission.”That was not a boxing-like move,” Schaefer said. “If you’re allowed to lift somebody up and slam them to the floor, you can’t win your belts like that.”

Even California officials acknowledged the first TKO on Hopkins’ record could soon be up for debate in a boardroom. “He couldn’t continue, so it’s a TKO for now,” said George Dodd, commission’s executive officer. “At this time, that’s the call.”

The brief fight will be an absurd chapter in the remarkable mid-life renaissance of Hopkins, who became the oldest man to win a significant world title last May with a victory over Jean Pascal, the only man who has beaten Dawson.

“He knew he wasn’t in there with a 46-year-old, because I was quicker and faster than him,” Hopkins said. “That was a blatant foul, and it should be a no-contest, not a disqualification.”

Hopkins has defied all conventional wisdom about athletes and aging ever since his career appeared finished after two decision losses to Jermain Taylor in 2005, when Hopkins was just 40.

He won a light heavyweight title with a stunning upset of Antonio Tarver in 2006 to start a 6-1-1 streak over his previous eight fights, beating Winky Wright — Dawson’s friend and training partner — along with Kelly Pavlik and Roy Jones Jr.

Dawson was left just as unsatisfied as the fans who paid $54.99 for the pay-per-view event, although it featured an exciting undercard including the pro debut of 52-year-old Dewey Bozella, who won an unanimous decison after spending 26 years in prison wrongfully convicted of murder.

“Let Bernard take his paycheck and refund it to everybody. We came to fight,” said Gary Shaw, Dawson’s promoter. “What I really feel is Bernard is old, and he gave it all he could for as long as he could. He beat Pascal, but there was no way he could have beaten Chad.”

Dawson is among his generation’s most gifted boxers — Floyd Mayweather Jr. called him the world’s best — but his career didn’t have a signature moment. He also hasn’t been a fan-friendly fighter, rarely taking the risks required for knockouts while openly admitting to boredom and lapses in training, particularly before his only loss to Pascal last year.

Hopkins showed little apparent interest in fighting Dawson, pointing out his meager ticket-selling abilities. Hopkins also likely was concerned about the problems posed by Dawson, a strong technical fighter behind his superb physical gifts.

Hopkins is a master of boxing’s mental game, and he teased and prodded Dawson in the weeks leading up to the bout, attempting to get in his head. Dawson claimed it wouldn’t work, insisting he was in perfect mental position for the fight. He recently broke free of a former manager and reunited with trainer John Scully, who worked with Dawson on his way to the top before Dawson went through four big-name trainers in the past few years.

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Bernard Hopkins Set to Defend Boxing Title

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

bernard-hopkins-0510-02WBC light heavyweight champion of the world, Bernard Hopkins, is putting the finishing showed touches on the preparation for his upcoming title defense against Chad Hopkins scheduled for the Saturday October 15th. The fight will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.

It is considered somewhat of a risky fight for the 46-year-old future Hall of Famer Hopkins. Dawson’s style isn’t conducive to what works best for “The Executioner.” Hopkins, 52-5-2 (32 KOs), likes aggressive fighters that come at him, not counterpunching lefties like Dawson, 30-1 (17 KOs), that are patient and not always willing to play along with Hopkins’ tactics.

“Chad Dawson has earned the right to challenge me for my titles, and I know he’s been looking for this fight for a long time,” Hopkins told CBS Philadelphia. Hopkins defeated Jean Pascal on May 21 to win the WBC light heavyweight world championship, in the process becoming the oldest fighter in recorded boxing history to win a major title. “You’ve got to be careful what you wish for, because believe it or not, I will be prepared once again to beat father time and show the world what I can do. Jean Pascal underestimated me and Chad Dawson better not do the same,” he added.

One big difference between Pascal and Dawson is that Pascal had little or no endurance after the middle rounds. One big plus is that Dawson replaced legendary Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward a month ago with John Scully, a former mid-level pro who trained “Bad Chad” early in his career, and Winky Wright, a former world champion known for his defensive tactics, working his corner.

But Dawson has said he plans on coming out early and testing the older, grizzled Hopkins with a volume of punches. Hopkins shot any notion down that Dawson will overwhelm him with an early attack.

Hopkins, however, has not stopped an opponent since he delivered a vicious body punch that crumpled Oscar De La Hoya in the ninth round on September 18, 2004—over seven years ago.

“I feel on schedule and coming back so quickly from the May fight against Pascal, I feel like I’m fighting the 12th round as far as I’m concerned,” Hopkins said. “This feels good, it feels good to come back so soon without a nine-month gap, a 15-month gap. If Dawson thinks he’s going to throw more punches and win on the scorecards, I’m coming out in with an aggressive game and a smart game. They’ll see. I can walk away and be satisfied that I achieved all I can achieve.

“It’s going to be gratifying to be sitting there in my 60s and hear a commentator say, ‘He’s approaching Bernard Hopkins’ record,’ that’s what keeps me going. Ten, 15, 20, 30 years from now, it will be like I’m still boxing, fighting in the second half of my life.”

It has to be noted that Dawson’s lone loss came against Pascal, on August 14, 2010 by a technical decision. But it was a fight in which Dawson had a very turbulent training camp, and hardly trained at all, and Dawson was gaining momentum in the later rounds when the fight was stopped and went to the judges.

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Bernard Hopkins Honored by State of Pennsylvania

June 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Combat Pascal-Hopkins

The Pennsylvania State Government honored Philadelphia native Bernard Hopkins at the State Capital yesterday for his recent WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship victory as the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title, as reported by BoxingScene.com.  Hopkins was invited by Senator Vincent Hughes, who has represented the state’s 7th District (covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County) since 1994.

Hopkins made appearances on the House and Senate floors where each chamber presented him with a proclamation honoring his record-breaking victory over Jean Pascal in their championship rematch on May 21 in Montreal.

Following the proclamation on the Senate floor, Hopkins was given the opportunity to speak, and in true Hopkins style, inspired every person in the room as he shared his life story of overcoming obstacles and investing in health in order to reach where he is today. Hopkins ended his speech by saying, “Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, whatever decisions we all make together as one, it affects lives.” Hopkins is scheduled to defend his belt on October 15th against Chad Dawson. The location of the fight is yet to be determined, but it is scheduled to air on HBO.

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Ukrainian Boxer Turning Heads

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

sillakh-584“Bernard Hopkins, here we come!” That is the cry from the camp of light heavyweight up-and-comer Ismayl Sillakh, the Ukrainian with the curious nickname “The Black Russian.” The six foot three inch Ukraine is cruising through the light heavyweight ranks with an eye toward the big boys. At 26 years of age, Sillakh is already 16-0 with 13 knockouts. Most recently he took out Hamza Wandera Ouma in Russia in three rounds. Sillakh is managed by Ivaylo Gotzev and trained by Shadeed Suluki. “If [Hopkins] is not available, a guy who always has something to say is Jean Pascal. We would love to take him on,” Gotzev told PhilBoxing.com.

Sillakh has traveled the world to fight, from Ukraine, where he had a phenomenal amateur record of 302-16, to Moscow, to the United States. He has made Southern California his unofficial new home, training in the northern Los Angeles area of Van Nuys at the new International Fight Center (IFC). So, other top light heavyweights cannot say that that haven’t heard of him or cannot find him. He’s right in their backyard. “…It’s no coincidence the division’s champions or their promoters never bring Sillakh’s name up. It’s because they’re all afraid to fight him, it’s that simple,” states Gotzev.

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Bernard Hopkins Title Defense Looks Set

June 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

00027848-SPF-001
File: Bernard Hopkins rests during practice in Los Angeles, 2008.

Newly-crowned light-heavyweight champion of the world Bernard Hopkins is all but finalized to take on Chad Dawson this fall, likely in September, for his first title defense. Hopkins has a record of 52 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws, while Dawson has 30 wins, one loss, and no draws. Dawson has reportedly been aiming to take on Hopkins for a couple of years now, but has been brushed aside until now. Hopkins instead took on Jean Pascal, whom he drew in December of 2010 before defeating him on May 21st of this year. The victory gave Hopkins the WBC, IBO, and The Ring magazine light heavyweight title belts.

Dawson’s only loss of his career came in fact to Pascal in August of 2010 in a technical decision. Therefore, Hopkins reportedly claimed that a fight with Dawson would be a waste of his time, and instead he wanted to “just beat the man who beat the man.” And that he did by dispatching of Pascal last month. But now Hopkins, who recently had a ceremony in his honor in his home town of Philadelphia, sees Dawson as his best match.

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Bernard Hopkins Becomes Oldest Boxing Champ in History

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

BernardHopkinsHeadShotMuslim boxer Bernard Hopkins became the oldest boxing titlist in any division in any era on Saturday with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal in Montreal, Canada. Hopkins won the World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight belt by winning all three cards after 12 rounds, by the scores of 116-112, 115-114, and 115-113. At the ripe old age of 46, no one had won a boxing title at such an advanced age since then 45 year old George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994. Saturday’s fight was a rematch of the first Hopkins-Pascal fight that took place this past December and ended in a draw.

Hopkins improved his record to 52 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws. He is now likely to defend his belt against former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, who won in a unanimous decision in Saturday’s undercard against Adrian Diaconu. However, Dawson previously lost his title against Pascal in August. Another possible opponent is undefeated super middleweight champion Lucian Bute, who was originally born and raised in Romania but now resides in Canada.

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