DEVON ALEXANDER: REDEEMED AND FREE (AGENT)
By Greg R. Penilla, M.D.
Tue, 28 Jun 2011
Last Saturday night, there were lightning, thunder, heavy rains and Mother Nature?s fury was relentlessly pounding St. Louis, Missouri and the neighboring St. Charles County where the Family Arena is located. Inside the arena, there was Fist of Fury and Bruce Lee would be proud.
The Alexander?Mattthysse main event was a non stop, thrilling, fan friendly and action packed fight. A fight that was overwhelmingly superior to the overhyped and disappointing Bradley-Alexander bout at the cavernous Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan.
Coming into the fight, Alexander appeared focused, very determined and had the look in his eyes screaming he cannot be denied. Kevin Cunningham also made sure that there will be no two loses in a row; otherwise, Alexander?s career would be in serious jeopardy.
The punch stats and the harder punches surely went Matthysse?s way. Many in the press row, HBO?s Lederman and including this author felt Matthysse won. There was even a smattering of boos among the overwhelmingly pro Alexander crowd when the decision was announced.
But in spite of the controversial split decision win, Devon Alexander deserved redemption.
For ten exciting rounds, Alexander weathered the incessant aggression of the hard punching boxer from Argentina. When Devon was knocked down in the fourth round, there was a collective gasp of concern among the more than 6000 fellow St. Louisans in attendance, but not Alexander. He immediately got up, did not lose his composure, remained focused and boosted by his new found mental fortitude that chased the ghost of a loser, he kept fighting and pushing himself beyond exhaustion.
One can sense that the only way he would stop fighting was, if he was being carried out in a stretcher.
He displayed his superior hand speed and boxing ability against the surprisingly fast, albeit slower Matthysse. But when Alexander needed to slug it out, he did and did it remarkably well in both giving and absorbing the hard shots from Matthysse. Later, during the post fight press conference, Kevin Cunningham pointed out Alexander?s heart and tenacity as a warrior. He also jokingly said that Alexander should never do it again, as he can only take so much anxiety.
Although Matthysse lost, it was a razor thin loss, he should be proud. Of course a win would have been a lot sweeter. But by leaving the friendly confines of Buenos Aires, traveling more than 5000 miles to St. Louis and going deep into the enemy territory, perform remarkably well and won in the eyes of many, he just made his stock soar. He was not a loser.
Matthysse?s career just got a big boost from last Saturday?s outstanding performance. Expect to see a lot of him in the U.S. and HBO.
For Devon, his gritty show of courage and perseverance all but wiped out the doubts and questions about his heart. There was redemption.
Quo Vadis Devon Alexander?
Dan Rafael of ESPN just reported that Alexander is going up in weight into the welterweight division. He quoted Kevin Cunningham that Alexander had been struggling to make weight. To lose weight there was no more fat to burn, only muscles to lose thus making him weaker from mid to late rounds
Rafael also quoted Alexander?s trainer that his contract with Don King Promotions ended after last Saturday?s fight. Alexander is now a free agent and can pursue other promoters. It seems obvious that Kevin Cunningham who acts as Alexander?s manager and trainer, is not shy about letting other promoters know that Alexander is listening.
The same article identifies Paulie Malignaggi as the potential next opponent. The recently redeemed former junior welterweight champion surely knows how to play the cards being dealt to him very well.
Alexander is ready to move on and leave the talented but less lucrative junior welterweight division. Although, he could also easily find Khan, Maidana, Judah and Bradley right behind him moving up in weight as well.
What are the possible scenarios for Alexander?s newly resuscitated career?
He signs up with Top Rank Promotions.
He fights Malignaggi, preferably a ranked fighter like Mike Jones who is also promoted by Bob Arum and wins convincingly.
The much anticipated Fight of the Century between the fighting Congressman, pound for pound king Manny Pacquaio from Sarangani Philippines and the man called Money, Floyd Mayweather Jr from Las Vegas does not happen in mid 2012 (This author believes it will never happen).
Alexander could easily become the front runner among the many boxers jockeying to line up to land the multi million dollar Pacquiao lottery. Who would have thought in February that Alexander would have better opportunities now than Bradley?
When I first wrote in 2009 about Alexander fighting Pacquaio, it was just my wishful thinking. Now it may actually happen.
Saturday?s main event was great but kudos to DKP, the undercard line up was also good.
Cornelius Bundrage won by UD over Sechew Powell in a fairly decent fight.
Ryan, The Irish Outlaw? Coyne had his hands full in a controversial win over David McNemar who took the fight on a six day notice. Many felt McNemar won. Coyne?s face showed McNemar gave him a good beating. He is still hoping to land a championship fight with Guillermo Jones soon.
Bermane Stiverne won via a 10th round TKO over Ray Austin in a somewhat bizarre fight.
Tavoris Cloud was in his usual effective and methodical self with an 8th round TKO of Yusaf Mack. Cloud deserves to be in bigger fights and a headliner. During the post fight press conference he practically was calling on everyone to fight him. Pascal, who was at ringside at the Family Arena, would likely be his next fight. But Cloud said he is ready for anybody. He even bragged that if he fights Bernard Hopkins, he will make B Hop, a C Hop.
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