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Boxer Makes His Pro Debut After 26 Years Of False Imprisonment


Dewey Bozella thrilled the crowd at the Staples Center on Saturday, as he won his first professional boxing match. It will likely also be Bozella's final fight, as 52-year-old cruiserweights are something of an anomaly. Bozella has a good reason for the late start to the sport, however: he spent 26 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Bozella was arrested in 1983 and convicted for murder, despite a lack of evidence that he was involved. He staunchly maintained his innocence during his time in prison, even declining a 1990 plea bargain that would have released him with time served, because he would never allow anyone to suggest that he was guilty.

While in prison, Bozella earned his high school equivalency degree, as well as a bachelor's and a master's degree. All this while remaining a model prisoner for the duration of his incarceration, and remaining in peak physical form.

In the culmination of a lifelong journey that seems tailor-made for Hollywood, Bozella won a four-round fight via decision against Larry Hopkins in front of a hot Los Angeles crowd.

Bozella plans to retire from boxing and open a gym in New York to assist at-risk youth. 

It's hard to imagine there will be any boxer this year who will feel as good about a win as Dewey Bozella feels right now.

(Via Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports)