WBC restores Bernard Hopkins as world champion

Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson
Hopkins was lifted off his feet by Dawson in the second round.

Bernard Hopkins has been restored as the WBC light-heavyweight champion after his controversial defeat by Chad Dawson at the weekend was overturned.

The veteran American claimed he could not continue after hurting his shoulder when he was lifted off his feet and dumped on the canvas by Dawson.

The referee stopped the fight and gave Dawson the win on a technical knockout.

However, after a review, the WBC changed the result to a technical draw, allowing Hopkins to keep his title.

Hopkins, who suffered a dislocation of the joint connecting his left shoulder and collarbone, was furious with referee Pat Russell's decision in Los Angeles and after the fight the 46-year-old filed a formal complaint to the California boxing authorities.

In a statement, WBC president Jose Sulaiman said the WBC "respects and cannot intervene in the decisions of the boxing commissions where the fights happen, but it does intervene in regards of the recognition of a WBC title of the world".

The WBC found that Dawson broke the rule barring "any rough tactics other than clean punches" and since the incident occurred before the fifth round, the result should have been a technical draw, rather than a technical decision based on scorecards.

Sulaiman said the WBC hoped California's boxing governing body "will review our ruling at their meeting in December".

That is when the seven-member California panel is expected to make its own ruling on Hopkins' appeal and determine whether the fight will count as a loss on his record.

Hopkins believes he should have won the fight by Dawson's disqualification.

In May, Hopkins became the oldest fighter to win a boxing world championship when he defeated Jean Pascal, eclipsing the record held by George Foreman, who regained the world heavyweight title at 45.

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