Trainer John Scully is skeptical about Bernard Hopkins' shoulder injury. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
In an interview with David P. Greisman of BoxingScene.com, Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins said he'll return to the ring in January to begin sparring:
"I’m in rehab. It’s 80 percent. It’ll be 100 percent by January when I start boxing. I had a slight tear in my rotator cuff. I also had an A/C break that was diagnosed by X-ray in L.A."
Greisman notes that Hopkins' injury was originally called a separation of the AC joint in his shoulder, and the trainer of his opponent Chad Dawson isn't buying this story. John Scully, a former fighter himself, says that if Hopkins spars in January, he knows the injury is bogus.
"Hopkins said in an interview yesterday he'd be sparring by January. When I injured my shoulder in June of 1999 (supposedly not as bad as Hops did his), I wasn't able to spar for well over six months," Scully said in an email to boxing media.
"Four months after my injury (strained rotator cuff), I jumped in the water in Kissimmee, Florida, and my shoulder felt like it was being torn out of the socket. He's gonna spar 3 months after an injury like that? Bull spit!"
"If this man spars anyone in January then, for me, it is proof positive that his injury is a complete fake job. Ask any doctor if you don't believe me."
Next week, the California State Athletic Commission will make a final ruling on the decision of Hopkins' October 15 loss to Chad Dawson. The fight could be changed to a DQ win for Hopkins, or a no-contest, or left where it is, but it is frankly a little difficult to imagine it staying at TKO win for "Bad" Chad, since it's going to be hard to prove that Dawson won due to an injury caused by a legal boxing move, since he didn't. That's not placing blame on Dawson for fouling Hopkins, really, it's just that he didn't cause it with a punch, and Hopkins didn't blow out his own knee or anything like that.