By Jackie Kallen
I can hear the Grim Reaper approaching. His footsteps are getting closer and louder. A sport that has already been on the critical list for years is fast approaching extinction. It pains me that the young fans of the 2000’s will never know the sport we old-school fans love and support.
Last night’s pathetic fiasco at Staples Center was just another nail in the coffin. I disagree with those who accuse Hopkins of faking. And I also scoff at Chad Dawson acting like the conquering giant who toppled an icon. It was a crazy accident that had nothing to do with Dawson’s skill or Hopkin’s acting ability.
I am just mystified at how anyone could declare that fight a victory for Dawson. In the case of an unintentional foul, I would have assumed it was a NC or at best a technical draw. The people I spoke to after the fight were dumbfounded by the outcome.
“Was that a valid call?” they asked.
“Can you throw someone to the ground like that and win the fight?”
“The injury wasn’t caused by a clean blow by Dawson, so why did he get the win?”
As someone who has been in this sport for over three decades, I guess I was supposed to provide a meaningful answer. The fact is–I couldn’t. I was as confused as everyone else.
After watching the replay several times, it’s evident that Hopkins fell on his elbow and shoulder, causing a separation. It happened after he tackled Dawson and the challenger threw him down. The pain on his face was genuine. One of my former boxers suffered the same injury in a fight and said it felt like a bomb exploded in his shoulder.
Referee Pat Russell ruled that it was not a foul and awarded the decision to Dawson. But a NC would have been a more appropriate call in my opinion. It was obvious that Hopkins could not continue.
The biggest problem here is that viewers spent a lot of hard-earned money to see this mess on PPV. If the same thing happened during a free ESPN2 fight, it would just be another black eye for the dying sport. But when people paid for less than six minutes of action and ended up with nothing more than a WWE spectacle–it stinks.
Many viewers feel that this match-up should never have been a PPV event in the first place. Will this hurt the future buy-rates for PPV fights? A lot of people are predicting that it will.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen
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