Dawson Stops Hopkins by Controversial KO!
A decent night of boxing once again ended in controversy when the former WBC and Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) was forced to relinquish his titles to the challenger Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs).
The fans at the Staples Center on Saturday night had just witnessed a sensational comeback in a bloody war between Antonio DeMarco and Jorge Linares and wanted nothing more than for the night to end on a high note. Unfortunately the fight with already low expectations failed to deliver.
The two started tentatively with Dawson jabbing and keeping Hopkins at a distance. The second round was more of the same, both landing but nothing worth noting. The controversial ending would come in the final minute when Hopkins lunged forward and leaned on a ducking Dawson who in turn pushed back. Hopkins would fall straight back and land on his butt and elbow, immediately grabbing his shoulder in pain. The fall did not look as violent as Hopkins played it out to be and was met with boo’s from the crowd. Many felt Hopkins was faking the injury, including Dawson who began taunting Hopkins as he laid on the canvas wincing in pain. The official ruling was, there was no foul committed in Dawson’s shoving and since Hopkins could not continue he was awarded a TKO victory.
After the fight Dawson had no sympathy for the 46 year old legend.
“I want to thank Bernard Hopkins for making it an easy night for me” said Dawson “This goes to show you why for the last three years Bernard Hopkins has been ducking me. He didn’t want no piece of me”
In the co-feature, Antonio De Marco (25-2-1, 18 KOs) scored a spectacular come from behind KO stoppage over Jorge Linares (31-1, 20 KOs) to claim the vacant WBC lightweight title. Linares was dominating the fight with blinding speed and movement but DeMarco stayed on him the entire time and though Linares seemed to be way ahead on points it didn’t look that way. DeMarco had busted up the face of Linares and by the tenth round he was cut over both eyes and over his nose. In the eleventh, after boxing and moving for the entire fight, Linares chose to stand and fight with DeMarco which eventually caused his demise. DeMarco landed a left hook right hand combination that sent blood spraying out of the ring. After a follow up barrage while Linares was covering up against the ropes, referee Raul Caiz stepped in and saved Linares from having to hit the deck. Official time was 2:32. Linares who sat on a stool in a pool of his own blood, was up 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92 at the time of the stoppage.
Junior welterweight Danny Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs) remained undefeated, winning a split decision against Kendall Holt (27-4, 15 KOs) to claim the vacant NABO title. After a feeling-out first round, Garcia found some success with a looping right hand that stunned Holt in the second and nearly put him on the canvas in the third. The action slowed in the middle rounds with both fighters having moments but choosing to only fight in spurts. Things heated up again in the eighth when Garcia unloaded a three punch combination as Holt went to touch gloves. Holt came out aggressive in the ninth but a couple of well place punches had him second guessing himself. The championship rounds would see a frustrated Holt take some head snapping shots and seemed to be looking for a way out but every time Garcia had him hurt, he let up and allowed Kendall to finish the round. Two judges would see Garcia ahead by a wide margin with scores of 117-111 while a third judge saw it completely different, calling out 115-113 for Holt.
“The Magic Man” Paulie Malignaggi (29-4, 6 KOs) easily scored a one-sided victory Orlando Lara (28-1-1, 19 KOs) after a full ten rounds at welterweight. Beside a right hand in the opening round that buckled the legs of Malignaggi, he never really seemed to be in any trouble. The Brooklyn fighter stayed in reverse and picked off Lora from the outside for most of the fight. In the later rounds Malignaggi stood his ground with some success, busting up the face of a frustrated Lora. Malignaggi would take the victory by wide margin with scores of 100-90, 98-92 and 99-91.
Junior featherweights Manuel Avila (6-0, 2 KOs) and David Reyes (2-1) traded leather for four rounds and when the dust cleared one judge had Reyes ahead with a score of 38-36. Unfortunately for him the other two would have Avila ahead with scores of 40-35 and 39-36. Reyes pressed the action from the opening bell but Avila stayed calm and always seemed to get the better of the exchanges. During a heated exchange at the end of round three, Avila caught Reyes with a perfect left hook that sent him to the canvas just as the ten second warning sounded. The wild aggression from Reyes slowed a bit in the fourth as Avila was able to sit in the pocket and pick his shots.
After spending 26 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction which was overturned two years ago, Dewey Bozella (1-0) fulfilled a life long dream by winning a unanimous decision over Larry Hopkins (0-4). The 51 year old was awarded the decision after four rounds that saw Hopkins slow and give up the fight in the third round, spitting out his mouth piece multiple time until he was deducted a point. Bozella pounded on Hopkins in the fourth and looked to have Hopkins out on his feet when the final bell sounded. Scores were 39-36, 38-37 and 38-36.
“This is my first and last fight” said an emotional Bozella “This is one of the greatest moments of my life”
In the welterweight division, Nick Casal (22-4-1, 17 KOs) scored a third round stoppage over previously unbeaten Michael Anderson (11-1-1, 9 KOs). Though Anderson was the taller and longer fighter, he allowed the smaller Casal to work his way inside without much effort. Once inside, Casal pounded the body and head. A right hand followed by an uppercut sent Anderson crumbling to the canvas in the third round. Anderson would make it to his feet but a left hook put him right back down. Referee Marco Morales would allow Anderson to continue but a follow up barrage left him no choice but to step in and wave it off at 2:51.
In an all action bout between Jr. middleweights, Freddy Hernandez (30-2, 20 KOs) edged out a unanimous decision over Luis Collazo (31-4, 16 KOs) after 10 rounds. Collazo seemed to outwork the taller Hernandez in the opening rounds but as he slowed down the stretch, Hernandez made his way back into the fight. The back and forth action continued into the closing rounds but a shot to the gut in the eighth floored Callozo and Hernandez took over from there. Collazo let up on the pressure and only fought in spots. In the end Hernandez would be awarded the victory with scores of 96-93 on all three judges scorecards.
Donyil Livingston (6-0, 3 KOs) served Kurtis Calvin (6-1, 5 KOs) his first loss via unanimous decision after six back and forth rounds. Livingston controlled the first half of the fight and even had his opponent hurt and on shaky legs. Calvin however would find a home for a counter left hook which he landed repeatedly in the second half. The fight seemed closer than the scorecards would indicate at 59-55 and 58-56 twice.