ST. LOUIS, MO — A stronger, more focused Devon Alexander delivered one of his best victories in recent memory with a complete shutdown of formidable slugger Marcos Maidana at the Scottrade Center.
Since both fighters were making their debuts at 147 pounds, questions abounded regarding how it would affect their speed, stamina and punching power. Early on, Alexander answered those questions well by keeping Maidana’s pressure on the end of his southpaw right jab and landing flush straight lefts whenever the fearless Argentinian was within mid-range. Maidana was respectful of Alexander’s power and remained measured in his pressure throught the first three rounds. Although he lost them, Alexander’s look of uncomfort bode well for Maidana’s chances in the later rounds.
“Don’t start that shit!” Alexander trainer Kevin Cunningham barked at him before the fourth round, alluding to his fighter’s mental lapses in recent bouts against Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthysse. “You need to fucking relax!”
The change wasn’t immediate, but it was clear Alexander came out with more confidence. The fourth was his best up until that point; he repeatedly knocked Maidana back with short right hooks on the inside in addition to the left crosses. Although Maidana succeeded in getting inside for most of the fifth, Alexander smothered his offense while still scoring right hooks.
The sixth effectively quelled Maidana’s chances at victory. Alexander focused on the body and hurt Maidana with rights and a straight left. A knockdown was missed, but Alexander wailed away with power shots as Maidana sought refuge against the ropes. The scene would be repeated again in the eighth with Maidana likely only surviving due Alexander neglecting body shots.
There would be no drama in the final two rounds. Alexander doubled his right hook to the head and body effectively in the ninth and completed the victory in the tenth behind occasional combos to keep an all too willing Maidana at bay.
Finding a round to give Maidana was difficult. One judge scored the fight 99-91 while the other two awarded Alexander a shutout score of 100-90.
“I be so anxious [because] I want to hurt the guy. I have to work on that,” said Alexander, still critical of his early fight nerves to Maidana’s pressure. “I learned from the Timothy Bradley fight.”
Marcos Maidana’s experiment at 147 is likely over based on his brief post-match words.
“147 wasn’t my division but I did what I could,” he flatly stated.
The win puts Alexander, whose name value had been in decline since his loss to Timothy Bradley in January 2011 and subsequent struggles, right back in the mix in a welterweight division that includes Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, the aforementioned Bradley and Andre Berto.