Dewey Bozella, who was released from prison in 2009 after serving 26 years of a wrongful conviction, won his pro boxing debut by beating Larry Hopkins by unanimous decision in a cruiserweight bout in October at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 52-year-old Bozella, who received a call of support from President Barack Obama two days prior to the bout, passed a physical administered by the California State Athletic Commission in September which allowed him to face the 30-year-old Hopkins (0-4) of Houston.
The victory satisfied Bozella’s dream of fighting as a professional boxer on the undercard of the light heavyweight bout between RING and WBC titleholder Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Bozella has been named recipient of the BWAA’s Courage in Overcoming Adversity Award, named after Congressional Medal of Honor winner Bill Crawford.
During his post-fight, in-the-ring interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman, Bozella was asked what his next fight would be.
“My next fight is to work with kids. The Dewey Bozella Foundation. That’s what I’m trying to get started,” said Bozella. “To work with kids and to keep them off of the streets and to let them know that through boxing, they can turn their lives around. That’s what this was all about.