By Brian Grammer and Clint Rosser at ringside
Photos: Bob Barton
Hometown hero and former world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” (23-1, 13 KOs) scored a surprisingly one-sided ten round unanimous decision over reigning WBO super lightweight champion Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (31-3, 28 KOs) in a non-title welterweight clash on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Alexander landed the right hook at will, catching Maidana coming in throughout the contest. The lead left hand found a home as well with Maidana not finding the right formula to keep up with the faster fighter. Alexander showed a side that has not been seen, staying in the clinches, and using the increased strength from the extra seven pounds to his advantage. After a bad performance in his loss to Tim Bradley, Alexander rebounded with his best performance, dominating Maidana like no fighter ever has. Scores were 100-90, 100-90, 99-91.
Adrien “The Problem” Broner (23-0, 19 KOs) remains unsolved as he toyed with and eventually knocked out Eloy Perez (23-1-2, 7 KOs) midway into round 4 in their WBO junior lightweight championship bout. Broner was much too quick and way too strong for Perez, who never could get into rhythm against the Cincinnati fighter. Broner landed the left hook at will and starting in the second, began to mix up the barrage with straight right hands, uppercuts from both hands and a vicious left hook. The end came late in the fourth from a straight right hand that landed cleanly and then closed the show with a looping right hand that drove Perez to the canvas. Perez attempted to get up at least twice, only to stumble around the ring, forcing referee Gino Hernandez to wave the contest to a halt at 2:24.
Junior welterweight prospect Sharif Bogere (22-0, 14 KOs) buzzed around a very tough Sergio Rivera (25-9-2, 16 KOs) for 3 rounds earning a well deserved TKO victory following the end of round 3. Rivera, who has all the tools in the box, put on a clinic, throwing punches from all angles and speeds. In the first, Bogere went to the body, landing as many as 10 punches at a time. Rivera, who continued to try to jab with Bogere, just was a micro-second behind the Ugandan fighter who now resides in Las Vegas. The show continued with a Bogere straight right hand that drove his opponent straight back into the ropes. The hook and jab from Bogere was surgical in nature and he continued his work in to the second. A right hand again drove Rivera into the ropes and then an eight punch combination followed that had Rivera reeling from the onslaught. Bogere continued to walk down his opponent throughout the stanza, while Rivera did his best to try to match his opponent’s speed and power. Just before the bell rang to end the round, Bogere again swarmed Rivera, landing a seven punch combo, thrilling those in attendance. The third was a repeat of the previous two as Rivera tried desperately to land a solid shot, but it was Bogere who was doing all of the landing. The lead right hand again bounced Rivera’s back into the ropes, but then the right uppercut found a home on Rivera’s chin. Before Rivera could recover, Bogere landed a left uppercut, and the crowd was brought to their feet as the mastery they were seeing before them began to wind to a conclusion. After several more flurries of the lightning-quick hands of Bogere reached their target, Rivera walked back to his corner, shaking his head, the frustration evident. After conferring with his corner, Rivera made the decision to retire on his stool, defeated, but not beaten.
Eddie Gomez (8-0, 6 KOs) was workmanlike in his 6 round unanimous decision victory over journeyman light middleweight David Lopez (3-8-3). Gomez had difficulty getting inside of the taller fighter’s jab, but in the opportunities that he did have, Gomez landed the left hook with some regularity. In the fourth round, Gomez jabbed his way into Lopez’ reach and proceeded to land a pretty four punch combination ending with a right cross. Following that success, Gomez doubled up the jab and fire another right cross that seemed to stun the economical Lopez. That was as close as either fighter could get in hurting the other and as the contest reached the scorecards, the result was not in much doubt. The busier Gomez controlled the action for the majority of the bout and the judges all agreed that he was the victor with cards of 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55.
Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (21-0, 21 KOs) was methodical in his breakdown of fellow heavyweight Marlon Hayes (23-11, 11 KOs). Hayes spent the majority of the contest running away and ducking, trying to survive the crushing overhand rights coming from Wilder. The 6’7″ Wilder continued to pump the jab and throw right hands in an attempt to end the contest early. In the fourth, Hayes resorted to grabbing Wilder’s lower legs while slipping punches, but in the last 15 seconds of the round, Wilder was able to connect on a couple of powerful hooks to his opponent’s body. Wilder followed up the attack with overhand, chopping right hands, stunning Hayes as the bell tolled to end the round. Hayes stumbled back to his corner, mouthpiece missing and on drunken legs. After seeing this and checking with Hayes’ corner, referee Mike England waved an end to the bout, declaring a TKO victory for Wilder at 3:00 of the fourth round.
Keith Thurman (16-0, 15 KOs) landed a brutal left hook to the liver late in round one to stop Chris Fernandez (19-15-1, 12 KOs) in a light middleweight contest. Thurman, who knocked Fernandez down midway through the round with a left hook to the head, punished Fernandez with the lead hand throughout the bout. The liver shot that ended it had a delayed effect as Fernandez took three steps back as Thurman advanced, finally taking a knee. After getting up at referee Celestino Ruiz’ count of six, Fernandez walked to a neutral corner and when asked by England to come to him, he refused. Time of the TKO was 2:50.
160 pounder Christopher Pearson (3-0, 2 KOs) dropped Jeremy Wood (1-5, 1 KO) twice early in round one, stopping Wood at :55. Pearson threw a picture perfect 1-2 combo to drop Wood about 20 seconds into the fight. Wood was able to beat the count of referee Mike England, but just another 30 seconds later, Pearson dropped Wood again with a straight left hand. England counted to seven and then waved his arms, signaling an end to the contest.
St. Louis native Tyrone “TNT” Chatman (9-1-1, 6 KOs) used the lead left hand to punish Marlon Smith (2-1, 1 KO) in an entertaining 4 round light welterweight attraction. The left hand from Chatman landed consistently both as a lead punch and behind a wicked right hook. Midway into the fourth, Chatman landed a beautiful straight that buckled the knees of his opponent, almost ending the contest right there. Smith survived the round and the judges awarded Chatman a unanimous decision victory on cards of 39-37, 40-36 and 40-36.
Cruiserweight Jose Ponce (3-0, 3 KOs) returned to the ring off of a 4 year layoff, destroying Jonathan Brown (0-2) by TKO at 2:40 of the first round. Ponce delivered punishing lead left hands and crushing right hooks to the body of Brown, discouraging his opponent from throwing punches. After working Brown into a corner late in the round, Ponce pounded Brown’s ribs to the point that referee Celestino Ruiz felt that Brown was not defending himself and waved a halt to the contest.