Earlier tonight former light welterweight champion Devon Alexander (22-1, 13KOs) took a ten round split decision victory over Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26KOs) at the Family Arena in Saint Charles, Missouri in yet another close fight that could easily have gone the Argentinian puncher’s way.
Throughout the fight Matthysse landed the harder punches, hurt Alexander to the body and even knocked him down for the first time in his career in the fourth round.
Alexander to his credit landed more punches, albeit with less behind them, and in several rounds outboxed Matthysse with ease. Where he cane unstuck at times was in attempting to brawl with a much bigger puncher, possibly due the the fatigue caused by Matthysse’s body attacks.
Many watching felt that Matthysse had once again done enough to get the decision. In front of a partisan pro-Alexander crowd though Matthysse knew a decision would be hard to come by, and the fight was close enough that few will call the outcome an outright robbery.
With the win Alexander goes at least some of the way to redeeming himself in the eyes of the fans for his loss to Tim Bradley.
While it wasn’t the performance he needed to completely repair his status as one of the best light welterweights in the world, he did show the ability to fight back from adversity. Something that many doubted he was capable of after the Bradley fight.
The judges ringside scored the fight 96-93 and 95-94 for Alexander and 96-93 for Matthysse. For the second fight in a row though Matthysse
Harold Lederman scoring the fight for HBO had it 95-94 to Matthysse, essentially giving the Argentinian the win by virtue of his knockdown
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Earlier on in the evening heavyweight prospect Bermane Stiverne came through what was beginning to look like a difficult test against veteran Ray Austin.
After struggling to get close to Austin for much of the fight, Stiverne eventually closed the gap and unloaded in the tenth, putting Austin down and ending the fight.
With the win Stiverne is now the number one contender for Vitali Klitschko’s WBO title, and looks likely to face the winner of Klitschko vs. Tomasz Adamek which takes place in September.
In the co-main event Tavoris Cloud succeeded in defending his IBF light heavyweight title, stopping challenger and Philly native Yusef Mack in the 8th round.
After a close start to the fight that saw Mack box well and neither fighter really take control, Cloud caught Mack with a huge left hand sending him crashing to the canvas. A follow up barrage after the restart put Mack quickly back down, after which the referee called the fight due to the fact that Mack was struggling to stay on his feet.
Another impressive showing from Cloud, let’s hope not his only appearance this year with the light heavyweight division having recently come to life again.
Fred Long, Pitt: “That’s the second time Matthysse got robbed, he should fight Maidana that would be a great fight”
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