ATLANTIC CITY - Chad Dawson left no doubt in his rematch with Bernard Hopkins Saturday night.

Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) regained the WBC light-heavyweight championship with an impressive performance that produced a 12-round majority decision before 7,705 fans at Boardwalk Hall.

Judges Kevin Flaherty and Steve Weisfeld both favored Dawson by a 117-111 margin, as did The Press. Judge Luis Rivera scored it even at 114-114.

"What did he do to win that fight?" Hopkins said. "They (the judges) did what they wanted to do. The only way I knew I would win is if I knocked him out. Let the public judge for themselves."

The fight was a much-awaited rematch of a bout held last October in Los Angeles. Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs), the oldest fighter to ever win a world title, kept his title when Dawson flipped him to the canvas in the second round and Hopkins reportedly suffered a dislocated shoulder.

Saturday's fight was a rough-and-tumble affair. Dawson appeared to dominate the action behind a strong right jab and crisp combinations and ring generalship.

He also had to overcome a pair of cuts. He was bleeding from gashes above both eyes as the result of some accidental head butts.

"(Hopkins) is a hell of a fighter, but he's a dirty fighter," Dawson said. "But I kept my composure, even with all the head butts. He fought his heart out, but I'm the younger guy, so I had to be the aggressor. I did what I wanted to do. I got my belt back."