By Chris Robinson
This past Saturday night was hardly a banner one for the sport of boxing as we were witness to one of the most disappointing finishes to a title fight in recent memory. Fighting inside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Chad Dawson would seize the WBC light heavyweight crown from Bernard Hopkins but the fight’s finish was hardly conclusive or satisfying.
After a very slow first round, Hopkins leaned over Dawson and was then shoved off and thrown to the floor. Grimacing in pain, Hopkins advised referee Pat Russell that he was in no shape to continue and since there was no foul called, Dawson was awarded with a 2nd round TKO victory.
Former champion Winky Wright helped assist Dawson for this particular camp and feels that a sense of justice was served.
“First of all, everybody saw what happened,” said Wright, who lost to Hopkins via unanimous decision in July of 2007. “Chad didn’t do anything to get disqualified. He leaned and pushed him off with his shoulder. He didn’t pick Bernard up, he didn’t slam Bernard, he didn’t push him. Bernard fell and he quit.”
Strong words from Wright and although it was later revealed by Dr. Sam Thurber, MD that Hopkins had indeed suffered a separation of the acromioclavicular joint that connects the collar bone and shoulder blade, the St. Petersburg, Florida native isn’t buying it.
“From where I sat, from where anybody sat, I don’t think he was hurt,” Wright continued as he spoke to Yahoo! columnist Kevin Iole and myself. “I think he could have fought on. If the fight was going his way he would have got up easy and did what he had to do. He knew it was going to be a rough night and he felt Chad jabbing and he felt how strong he was. He didn’t want no more.”
But when asked if the nature of the victory wasn’t exactly what he was looking for from his fighter, Wright conceded as much.
“It definitely tarnishes it, but hey, we’re champions now. If Bernard wants to do this again, we’d gladly do this again to show people that this wasn’t a fluke and that he’s going to dominate Bernard,” Wright stated.
Wright had a standout career of his own as he enjoyed two separate runs as a junior middleweight champion while pulling out victories over the likes of Shane Mosley on two occasions, Bronco McKart, and later Felix Trinidad and Ike Quartey. Winky was last seen losing a lopsided decision to Paul Williams in April of 2009 and admits he yearns for the attention that comes with a big prize fight.
“Oh, I miss it a lot. I’m definitely going to get back into this. I’m happy to be here with Chad and I can’t wait until it’s my turn to get back out in forefront of everything.”
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at Trimond@aol.com