By Keith Idec
Devon Alexander deserved better Saturday night.
A determined Alexander appeared to do more than enough to out-point Victor Ortiz, but he was forced to settle for a majority draw in their 12-round battle between former welterweight champions. Ortiz fell behind early, yet apparently closed the gap on the scorecards later in a fight FOX televised from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
None of the three judges scored the fight for St. Louis’ Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs), despite that he seemed to build an early lead and out-landed Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs), according to unofficial punch stats.
Judge Don Griffin scored the fight for Ortiz, 115-113. The two other judges, Glen Rick Crocker and Levi Martinez, had it even after 12 rounds (114-114).
Neither fighter appeared to seriously hurt the other in the fight. Ortiz fought through severe swelling around his left eye over the final nine-plus rounds.
Alexander landed a left hand early in the 11th round that temporarily made Ortiz hold him. Alexander drilled Ortiz with a right uppercut in the 10th round that snapped back Ortiz’s head.
Ortiz connected with a flush right hook in an exchange just after the two-minute mark of the ninth round.
Alexander defended himself well in the eighth round, when Ortiz attempted to build on what he had done in the seventh round.
Ortiz had some success in the seventh round, when he landed several left hands in exchanges with Alexander.
In the fifth round, Alexander assumed control of the bout by landing overhand lefts and right hooks as Ortiz struggled both offensively and defensively.
Ortiz landed a right hook just after the midway point of the fourth round. Alexander took that shot well and drilled Ortiz with an overhand left later in the fourth.
By the beginning of the third round, swelling was evident around Ortiz’s right eye. Alexander’s jabs and right hooks appeared to cause that damage.
Though thought to be the puncher entering their fight, Ortiz opened the fight trying to box with Alexander, who was quicker and slicker. Alexander landed a straight left with 1:10 to go in the first round that woke up Ortiz.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.