|01-30-2011, 12:26 PM||#1|
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Bradley Wins, 'BUT(T)' Not Without Controversy
By Mr. Boxing Today
The Pontiac Silverdome was treated to a good tactical fight Saturday night. St. Louis native Devon Alexander (21-1, 13 KO's) suffered the first defeat of his young professional career in a hard fought battle against the newly crowned WBC Super Lightweight Champion and current WBO Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley (27-0, 11 KO's) of Palm Springs, California.
The fight started off as expected with Timothy being the aggressive stalker and Alexander trying to box on the outside. The fight ultimately came down to a test of will. As the fight approached the middle rounds it was clear that Alexander was starting to fade and become uncomfortable with the fight. Bradley was able to maul and land six headbutts according to Devon Alexander, who told Larry Merchant in his post fight interview he was fouled repeatedly.
Devon fought as well as he could. He boxed well in spurts and won rounds 2, 5, and 7 with skill. Bradley's headbutts started to affect Devon mentally and physically. Ringside doctor Peter Samet advised referee Frank Garza to stop the fight. He believed that Devon may have had nerve damage that temporarily paralyzed his right eye after a clash of heads that happened at 1:59 of the 10th round. Peter Samet asked Alexander to open his eye, but Alexander replied "My eye is burning, I can't see". When given the chance to continue fighting Alexander didn't behave like someone who wanted to fight on.
Frank Garza also blew it in the third round when he ruled Devon's cut was caused by a punch when on replay it clearly showed it was a Bradley accidental butt. We can't fully place the blame on Garza or Bradley's head butts for Alexanders loss. I believe Alexander could have fought on, but he chose not to. Every fighter has his breaking point, and Bradley proved to be too tough and smothering for Alexander to handle. Devon did a great job of pivoting off his right foot and landing uppercuts. The problem was he was only able to keep up that pace up for a fraction of the time, not nearly enough to keep Bradley at bay.
I noticed that Devon was more willing to grab then punch on the inside. He may have actually caused one or two of the six butts. Alexander would lean in to grab Bradley often and their heads would collide. I scored the fight 97-93 for Bradley. I think Bradley vs. Khan should be next. The winner can be a possible match up down the road for pound for pound kingpins Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Devon Alexander on the other hand is only 23 years old. He is a talented boxer, with a good foundation of people around him. Don't be fooled, head trainer Kevin Cunningham will right the wrongs and iron out the kinks of this last outing. I expect a full mental and physical recovery for Alexander even though it seemed like he wanted the fight to go to the scorecards early.
The loser of this fight was rumored to face Marcos Maidana in the summer on HBO. If that is the case Alexander will once again be tested mentally and put in very uncomfortable scenarios. Can Alexander handle pressure fighters? or did Kotelnik and Timothy Bradley lay a blueprint on how to beat Alexander?
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