WBC orders Dawson-Hopkins rematch

Posted at 12/19/11 8:32 AM

Also requires Chavez Jr. to fight Martinez

MANILA, Philippines -- The World Boxing Council (WBC) has ordered a rematch between light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and former champion Chad Dawson after their first fight last October 15 ended in controversy.

In their first meeting, referee Pat Russell awarded Dawson a second-round technical knockout victory.

Dawson had lifted Hopkins and thrown him to the canvas, causing him to injure his shoulder. Although Hopkins claimed he can continue to fight with one arm, the referee decided to stop the fight and give Dawson the victory.

But the California State Athletic Commission overturned the result of the bout, instead changing it to a no decision.

According to ESPN, the WBC has ordered a rematch between Dawson and Hopkins.

"I think justice has been served," said Dawson's promoter, Gary Shaw. "When Hopkins had a draw with (Jean) Pascal, the WBC gave him an immediate rematch. And now they have done the same thing for Dawson after the controversy."

But the rematch may prove to be difficult to make as the first one was a "commercial disaster," according to ESPN's Dan Rafael.

"Finding a network to put up the money required to make the fight could be very difficult," Rafael added.

The 46-year-old Hopkins said he is willing to try and make the rematch. But if it is not possible, he said will look elsewhere for his next fight.

"Whatever is best economically without having my belt stripped, then I'm fine with that. I duck no one," Hopkins said.

The WBC also ordered middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to fight Argentina's Sergio Martinez, who is considered to be the number 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

But Rafael said the Chavez-Martinez fight is unlikely to happen, as Top Rank does not want Chavez Jr. to face the dangerous Martinez.

Martinez' promoter, Lou DiBella, hopes to work out a deal with Top Rank.

"We'll talk to Bob Arum and to HBO and see what we can work out," he said.

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