Sports digest: Bernard Hopkins, 46, loses boxing crown on bizarre TKO
Chad Dawson spent most of the past half-decade angling for a fight with Bernard Hopkins, believing he could define his boxing career by knocking out an ageless champion who had never been stopped.
Dawson got his TKO on Saturday night.
But his dream looked nothing like this debacle.
Hopkins was stopped 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 with a dislocated joint in his shoulder.
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," said Hopkins, whose spokesman said he dislocated the joint connecting his collarbone and shoulder blade. "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, shrugging him onto the canvas. Hopkins landed roughly on his back and 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.
Bizarre end to Hopkins's reign
The oldest world champion in boxing history has lost his WBC light-heavyweight title in a most unusual and controversial fashion.
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