St. Louis, MO– In a bout that was nothing close to the glorious homecoming expected, WBC/IBF Jr. Welterweight Champ, Devon Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs) barely survived a tough-than-expected contest against veteran former champ, Andriy Kotelnik (31-4, 13 KOs).
Alexander jumped to an early lead, winning six of the first seven rounds with his movement and athleticism, but Kotelnik kept pressing the attack and connecting with well-timed counters. Eventually, the pressure paid off and Alexander began to slow down enough to be bullied by the fighter from the Ukraine.
Down the stretch, Kotelnik came on strong and pushed the 23-year old Alexander to the point of exhaustion. The St. Louis native showed his toughness by finishing the fight on his feet despite a cut over the right eye that he suffered in the early rounds, a cramp in his leg and sheer exhaustion.
Kotelnik put on the performance of his career and exposed some weaknesses in Alexander’s game, but gave away too many early rounds to claim a robbery.
The judges scores were 116-112 all the way around. The Boxing Tribune scored it 115-113 for Alexander.
In the televised opener, IBF Light Heavyweight champ, Tavoris Cloud (21-0, 18 KOs), outlasted Glen Johnson (50-14-2, 34 KOs) in a tough, grueling battle that saw frequent shifts in momentum.
In the end, Cloud’s age and athleticism allowed him to capture the later rounds en route to the unanimous decision victory.
The judges scorecards were all in sync: 116-112 for Tavoris Cloud. The Boxing Tribune also scored it 116-112 in Cloud’s favor.
In a non-televised undercard bout, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (30-4, 18 KOs) captured the IBF Jr. Middleweight Title by stopping reigning champ,Cory Spinks (37-6, 11KOs) in five one-sided rounds.
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