Ex-Con Dewey Bozella Wins Pro Boxing Debut at 52

Bozella spent 26 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit, but earned two college degrees in prison before he was exonerated in 2009.

Posted: 10/17/2011 05:45 PM EDT

It had definitely been a case of a dream deferred when 52-year-old Dewey Bozella stepped into the boxing ring Saturday in Los Angeles, after serving 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
The night ended exactly as Bozella had envisioned all those years when he defeated Larry Hopkins by unanimous decision in a cruiserweight bout that was on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson title fight.
"I used to lay in my cell and dream about this happening," Bozella told the Associated Press. "It was all worth it. It was my dream come true."
In 1983, he was convicted of killing 92-year-old Emma Crasper. But Bozella made the most of his time in prison, earning two college degrees and was the light heavyweight champion of Sing Sing before he was exonerated and released in 2009.
But now that Bozella has realized his boxing dream, he is ready to walk away and enjoy the rest of his life.
"This was my first and last fight," he said. "It's a young man's game. I did what I wanted to do, and I'm happy. I appreciate everybody that made this possible. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life."
Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

 (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)