Dawson Takes Title with Controversial TKO

Photo: Will HartEditor's Notes: After reviewing video of the fight as well as Bernard Hopkins' medical reports, the WBC later declared a technical draw in this bout. Bernard Hopkins retained his title as WBC Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. The story originally published on fight night follows below.

Ageless wonder. Modern day phenom. One in a million. It all fits the 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins, who Saturday once again set out to defy the odds of nature by defending his light heavyweight world title against Chad Dawson, who at 29 is 17 years Hopkins' junior.

But the 8,431 in attendance at Staples Center in Los Angeles never got a chance to see if Hopkins would be able to handle another young buck because of yet another bizarre ending in this crazy sport.

Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson: Undercard Packed with High Hopes

By Eric Raskin

Veterans looking to show they still belong. Young fighters out to demonstrate they can be great. Contenders hoping to soon become champions. On the three-fight televised undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson light heavyweight championship bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 15, everybody has something to prove.

Jorge Linares (31-1, 20 KOs) vs. Antonio DeMarco (25-2-1, 18 KOs), 12 Rounds, Lightweights

Linares was thought to have pound-for-pound potential until a shocking first-round knockout at the hands of unknown Juan Carlos Salgado derailed him in 2009. Four straight wins since have the boxing community again talking about the 26-year-old Venezuelan’s P-4-P potential, and in DeMarco, he faces the youngest, strongest test of his comeback so far.

A gutsy 25-year-old southpaw, DeMarco is also trying to shake off a loss, though his was not an upset. It was the undefeated power puncher Edwin Valero who handed him a defeat three fights ago (in the late Valero’s final fight). There’s no shame in losing that way. But the Linares fight represents DeMarco’s second, and perhaps final, chance to prove he can get the job done at the elite level.

Linares has the edge here in terms of skill, so DeMarco’s job is to apply pressure, find his opponent’s questionable chin, and do his best to prevent skill from being the deciding factor.

Danny Garcia (21-0, 14 KOs) vs. Kendall Holt (27-4, 15 KOs), 12 Rounds, Junior Welterweights

This is your classic crossroads fight, an unbeaten but relatively untested prospect against a veteran ex-titleholder fighting to remain in the picture. And it’s as even a matchup as you’ll find. On top of that, Garcia is promising a brawl.

“He’s supposed to be one of the hardest punchers. I think I’m one of the hardest punchers,” the 23-year-old Philly fighter said. “So it’s going to be an all-out fight.”

The 30-year-old Holt is fresh off a contender for Knockout of the Year in which he iced Julio Diaz in the third round with a spectacular body-head double left hook combo. Holt has also been on the receiving end of a stoppage in three of his four defeats, which means there’s a high likelihood this one ends with someone on the canvas. The question is who that someone will be.

Paulie Malignaggi (29-4, 6 KOs) vs. Orlando Lora (28-1-1, 19 KOs), 10 Rounds, Welterweights

Photo Credit: Will HartIt seems like Malignaggi has been around forever, but he’s still only 30 years old and looking to make one more push in a new division with a new promoter. One look at “The Magic Man’s” record tells you how he fights: With six knockouts among 29 victories, he’s all about speed and slickness (plus the ability to take a hard punch, even if he can’t deliver one).

Mexico’s Lora is the question mark. He’s never faced anyone with Malignaggi’s pedigree. The limited amount of film on Lora reveals that he’s a solid, steady boxer with a consistent jab—but if Malignaggi is still Malignaggi, then solid, steady, and consistent don’t figure to be enough.

Bert Sugar on Paulie Malignaggi vs. José Miguel Cotto

Former IBF light welter champ Paulie Malignaggi (28-4), aka the “Magic Man,” is looking for redemption the night of April 9th against the family Cotto, taking on the brother of the fighter who handed him his first loss, Miguel Cotto. Malignaggi looks to do that voodoo he does so well against Miguel’s brother, José Miguel Cotto (32-2-1, 24 KO’s), to prove to naysayers that he can climb the welterweight mountain to win his second championship.


Preview Morales-Maidana and More - Inside Action Heroes

by Michael Gluckstadt

As fight week approaches, we'll take our first Inside Fight Week look at how each fight is shaping up:

Gene Blevins - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Eric Morales vs Marcos Rene Maidana:

In the main event, a 12-round junior welterweight fight, Erik "El Terrible" is taking on Marcos "El Chino" Maidana. The 34-year-old Morales, who retired in 2007 before stringing together three victories on his Mexican comeback trail, feels he's prepared to get back to the top level of competition. "I am very calm and ready," he says. "The junior welterweight division gives me the opportunity to eat well and to make weight without sacrificing my body like I had to in the past."   

The hard-throwing Maidana is coming off a close but unanimous decision loss to Amir Khan, and the defeat has left a bitter taste in his mouth. "I want to be a world champion again and move past the frustration I have felt since my fight with Amir Khan," the Argentine says. "I am definitely prepared and hungry for this fight."  

Robert Guerrero vs Michael Katsidis:

Robert Guerrero and Michael Katsidis will be fighting for the vacant WBA and WBO Interim Lightweight belt. The fight had been scheduled for early last year, but was canceled when Guerrero stepped away from boxing to care for his ailing wife, Casey. Now that Casey has been cancer-free for over a year, Robert has been able to focus on boxing. "It takes a huge weight off your shoulders and makes everything easier to prepare for fights," he says. "I'm tremendously prepared for this fight.” 

The always-dangerous Katsidis is coming off a loss in a slugfest with Juan Manuel Marquez. With his focus now on Guerrero, he's been training for the fight in Thailand. "It's not comfortable in the ring," he says. "Thailand is very tough and the conditions here are rugged." 

Paulie Malignaggi vs Jose Miguel Cotto:

The former Junior Welterweight World Champion, Paulie Malignaggi is stepping back onto the big stage against Puerto Rico's Jose Miguel Cotto in a 10-round welterweight fight. The flashy Brooklynite is looking to avenge his first ever professional loss, suffered at the hands of Cotto's older brother Miguel. "I know when fighting a Cotto I have to be prepared," he says. "I’m excited for the challenge." The younger Cotto isn't just a famous name. He's gone 32-2-1 with 24 KOs in his 14-year professional career.

James Kirkland vs Nobuhiro Ishida:

In one of the night's most compelling stories, James Kirkland makes his highest profile return to the ring since spending two years in prison for violating parole and purchasing a gun. Kirkland was a rising talent and spectacular knockout artist when he took his forced hiatus. Since returning to the ring, Kirkland's scored two impressive KOs, both within the first two rounds, and looks to make the light middleweight from Japan his third.