Exonerated Boxer Fights His First And Last Bout

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Light heavyweight Dewey Bozella won his first professional bout this week, at a time of life when most men are fighting male pattern baldness. Host Scott Simon takes note of the boxer, who made his professional debut at age 52 after spending a quarter-century in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Light heavyweight Dewey Bozella won his first professional bout this week at a time of life when most men are fighting male pattern baldness. Dewey Bozella is 52 years old. He spent 26 years in prison, much of it in Sing Sing, where he became the prison's light heavyweight champion. Mr. Bozella also earned bachelor and master's degrees while there. He always denied committing the 1983 murder for which he was doing time. It wasn't until 2009, through the work of The Innocence Project, that lawyers from the Wilmer Hale firm located evidence favoring Mr. Bozella, which had not be turned over to his attorneys. Mr. Bozella was exonerated and set free. He told The New York Times, I'm not going to disrespect the courts, 'd just like the justice system to be fair. Same thing with boxing. If the judges are fair, then the real winner wins. Just be fair. That's it. Before last week's match in Los Angeles, President Obama called Dewey Bozella to wish him well. And he won a unanimous decision in a four-round bout over his 30-year-old opponent, Larry Hopkins. The fighter then announced his retirement. My next fight is to work with kids, he said, to keep them off the streets.

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