By Keith Idec
Devon Alexander’s last opponent, a powerful fighter from Argentina, felt he did more than enough to beat Alexander near Alexander’s hometown.
His disputable defeat didn’t stop another rugged Argentine with heavy hands from agreeing to face Alexander in St. Louis, the left-handed former IBF/WBC 140-pound champion’s hometown. Marcos Maidana fully understands, though, that the best way to avoid a controversial defeat like the loss Lucas Matthysse suffered June 25 in St. Charles, Mo., is to knock out Alexander on Saturday night at Scottrade Center (HBO; 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
“I’m going to do my best, do my job, to knock him out, of course,” said Maidana, who has knocked out 28 of his 33 opponents. “But if not, I know I have to win by a wide margin in order to get the decision because sometimes you have these local decisions. Everybody knows that. So I think the best for me is to try to knock him out, and put an end to the problem.”
Matthysse (30-2, 28 KOs) floored Alexander during the fourth round of their 10-round fight at Family Arena eight months ago, but still lost a split decision. One judge, Missouri’s Brett Miller, had Matthysse winning that bout (96-93). Two other judges — Puerto Rico’s Carlos Colon (96-93) and Minnesota’s Dennis Nelson (95-94) — scored Alexander the winner.
His victory over Matthysse marked the second time in less than a year that controversy marred an Alexander win in or near St. Louis. Alexander won 116-112 on all three scorecards in a 12-round junior welterweight title fight against Andriy Kotelnyk (31-4-1, 13 KOs), but Kotelnyk clearly won more than four rounds during that August 2010 bout at Scottrade Center.
Nelson, Las Vegas’ Jerry Roth and Dallas’ Oren Shellenberger judged the Alexander-Kotelnyk fight. The three judges assigned to the Alexander-Maidana match are from Connecticut, England and Puerto Rico.
“We know we can beat Alexander,” said Sebastian Contursi, Maidana’s adviser. “We just want to be treated fairly.”
Continuous talk about him benefitting from hometown decisions has agitated Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs).
“I am frankly tired of all the speculation and all the talk about me fighting in my hometown,” Alexander said. “It’s not my fault that I’m a big draw at home and there’s nowhere else to take the fight. I’m a big draw at home, so be it.
“But this fight, I’m not going to leave it in the judges’ hands. I’m going to win convincingly. … There’s not going to be a doubt in the judges’ minds, the fans’ minds or the minds of whoever comments. There’s not going to be a doubt that I won the fight. There’s no hometown favoritism or anything. I want to leave it out of everybody’s hands, because at the end of the day me and Marcos Maidana have to get in the ring. So I want to leave it out of everybody’s hands.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for the Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.