LOS ANGELES - - Accident, willful misconduct or an action of normal development in the fight?
Those will be the questions the seven-member California Boxing Commission will have to answer in order to reconsider Saturday's disputed call in the WBC light heavyweight championship fight between Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson at Staples Center.
Dawson regained the WBC crown when he was awarded a TKO victory over Hopkins in the second round after a confusing incident that left the defending champion injured.
With less than 30 seconds left in the round, Hopkins missed a punch and fell awkwardly into Dawson, who pushed Hopkins off of him. Hopkins, the oldest man to ever win a world title, fell to the canvas, injuring his left shoulder. Referee Pat Russell ruled that Dawson, who won the first round, did not commit a foul and gave him a win by knock out since, Russell concluded, Hopkins could not continue.
The decision was met with an immediate uproar. Dawson's camp said Hopkins had been trying to avoid the fight for three years and basically found away to walk out of it. Hopkins' camp claimed the fight should be considered void.
It now remains to be seen what will follow. On Monday, Golden Boy Promotions sent a letter to the WBC protesting Saturday's result. The WBC said it is reviewing video of the bout and hoped to have a decision by the end of the week. It is expected Golden Boy will also send a similar petition to the California Boxing Commission.
George Dodd, Executive Director of the California Boxing Commission, told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com on Monday that his office had not received any request from Golden Boy Promotions.
"If we receive a petition, only if we receive one, we would evaluate the determination taken by the referee on Saturday," Dodd said. "I guess our panel of seven commissioners would review that on board on December 13."
Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel, president of the World Boxing Organization, said there are three aspects that a commission reconsidering a result should look at, based upon the rules of the Association of Boxing that govern all fights sanctioned in the U.S.
"First, you must determine whether the action that caused the injury was an illegal action, and accident or the result of a legal punch," Valcárcel said. "If the injury was caused by willful misconduct, the ABC states that the boxer that made the illegal action shall be disqualified.
"If it was a non-intentional accident, then the solution must be a no-decision because all this happened before the fourth round. Now, if it was the product of legal punch or the normal developmental of the fight, the injured boxer can be declared the loser if he was down in the cards, if he was not capable to continue fighting."
It was under that premise that Russell declared Dawson the winner on Saturday.
After the fight, before he was taken to the hospital with a dislocated joint in his left shoulder, Hopkins argued the result should have been a no-contest.
That result was not the only one disputed Saturday. Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy's executive director, also warned his office would send a protest to the California Boxing Commission to dispute the end of the Jorge Linares-Antonio DeMarco fight for the WBC lightweight crown. That bout was stopped in the 11th round, with DeMarco scoring a TKO. Schaefer claimed that fight was wrongly stopped by referee Raúl Caiz Sr.
"Referees did a lousy job on this program," Schaefer said.
Linares, who was obviously injured, was winning the fight on the judges' cards. One judge had him ahead 99-91 and two others had him leading 98-92.
Information from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael was used in this report.