Hopkins regains crown after WBC ruling

PHILADELPHIA — A ruling by the WBC Board of Governors, changing the outcome of last Saturday's light-heavyweight title fight between champion Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins and challenger Chad Dawson from a second-round technical knockout for Dawson to a technical draw, means that the 46-year-old North Philadelphia native again is that sanctioning body's 175-pound king.

But Hopkins isn't yet considered as such in Los Angeles, where the fight was held, and maybe a few other jurisdictions that will continue to recognize Dawson as the titlist at least until Dec. 13, when the California State Athletic Commission formally convenes to hear a protest filed by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. Hopkins is promoted by Golden Boy.

At that meeting, the CSAC could affirm referee Pat Russell's original decision that the significant shoulder injury suffered by Hopkins was not the result of a foul committed by Dawson. The CSAC could declare the fight a no-contest, which seems the likely outcome, or it could go 180 degrees in the other direction and disqualify Dawson.

Hopkins is pleased to have won this round, even if it does represent only half a loaf.

"I'm very happy that the right thing was done by the WBC Board of Governors, which reviewed the tape of the fight before arriving at its decision," Hopkins, contacted by the Philadelphia Daily News at his Delaware home, said of the ruling. "I believe they got it right. The tape speaks for itself."

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