By Francisco Salazar
In an upset at Foxwoods, light heavyweight Tommy Karpency won a 10 round split decision over former world champion Chad Dawson.
After back-to-back losses to Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson, Dawson returned to the ring on June 21 in Carson, Calif. He knocked out former fringe contender George Blades in the first round. Karpency, who took the Dawson fight on three weeks' notice, had won two fights in a row prior to the Dawson bout.
After Dawson looked as though he won the first round, Karpency began to assert himself in the second round. He would beat Dawson to the punch with overhand left hands to the head, with an occasional right hook.
Dawson came on in the middle rounds, backing up Karpency while scoring with his own left hands to the head and body. In the seventh round, Dawson seemed to hurt his left arm or hand, as he rarely threw his left for the rest of the fight. Dawson admitted that he hurt his left in the third round.
Dawson used his right to throw jabs or hooks, while Karpency threw very little. It looked as though Karpency was waiting to counter Dawson, but was hurting himself by not being as active. Both fighters did very little in the final round, although Karpency motioned for Dawson to come towards him in the final seconds.
One judge scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Dawson, while the other two judges scored the bout 96-94 for Karpency, who improves to 24-4-1, 14 KOs.
Dawson falls to 32-4 1NC 1ND, 18 KOs.
“I just came here to win, I had nothing to lose,” Karpency said. “I know I did enough to win and thankfully the judges got it right. I know it was close but I won hands down. I came here on short notice and I had to pace myself and make my punches count. I buzzed him a few times but couldn’t get him down. He was running. He thought he had the fight won.
“I believe that I belong in the top 10 in the light heavyweight division. I want to fight the best. I just beat a two-time former champ and I’m ready to fight the best.”
Dawson disagreed with the decision.
“I hurt my shoulder in the third round,” Dawson said. “I landed more jabs than he landed punches. That’s bullsh*t. They must want me out of the game. That’s crazy. I fought with one arm since the third round. Come on, man”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing