1998-08-28 Bernard Hopkins tdraw 4 Robert Allen, Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - IBF

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1998-08-28 Bernard Hopkins tdraw 4 Robert Allen, Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - IBF. Referee: Mills Lane. Ahead on two of the cards at the end of the third round, Hopkins (159) was continually caught up in clinches as Allen (160), the number one challenger and a southpaw, tried to get to close quarters. Both men had repeatedly clinched and in the fourth, in trying to break the two men apart the referee unintentionally was responsible for Hopkins losing his balance and falling out of the ring. When it was clear that Hopkins could not box on, having been concussed and sustained a sprained left ankle, the referee stopped the contest with three seconds of the session remaining, the decision being marked down as a no contest (for our purposes a technical draw). Under IBF rules, the fight had to have lasted four rounds before going to the cards.

With Hopkins unavailable due to injury, Allen stopped Abdulla Ramadan in the first round of their contest at The Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia on 19 September to win the vacant IBF ‘interim’ title. On winning, Allen made sure of being Hopkins’ next challenger.