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 St. Louis American Column on Main Event

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Cutman

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PostSubject: St. Louis American Column on Main Event    Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:33 pm

By Glenn McBrady

For The St. Louis American

As a line of severe weather soaked and battered the outside of the Family Arena last Saturday evening, inside the venue and within the ropes there was a furious storm of egos raging.

Flashes of skill and profound rumblings of will pitched back and forth as Devon Alexander dug in his heels to stay near the top of a loaded super lightweight division and Lucas Matthysse clawed his way towards a future title opportunity.

With a loss already on his record, a second consecutive stumble, even against a fire-breather with cinder blocks for hands would send “The Great” further south in the 140-pound ranks.

In his counterpart Matthysse, an Argentinian with incredible stoppage power who had predicted that he would do his job and take Alexander out so the judges wouldn’t have to do theirs by rendering a verdict.

The theme for Team Alexander was “Redemption” and from the time the first bell clanged there was added aggressiveness and a sense of urgency as he slipped in and out of range effortlessly, flashing a jab and using bobble-headed movement to avoid danger.

Matthysse looked cold and calculating as he stalked his prey around the real estate on the royal blue canvas in search of a show-stopping shot.

In the opening moments of round four, supporters of the local fighter had tense seconds after a straight right put Alexander on the mat for the first time in his professional career. But it was evident when he bounced up and over to a neutral corner that there was minimal harm done.

As the second half of the bout began, fans again lifted their man, stomping feet and chanting, “Devon, Devon!” at a time during the middle rounds that the painfully lean lefty could use it.

The words in my trusty notebook to sum up the sixth simply read, “Now it’s a fight.”

Matthysse’s right mitt would find a home with regularity in the seventh, dialing up the thermostat in the room as he punctuated the round with some chatter.

Even though the Argentinian controlled the action in the eighth, it was impressive to watch Alexander stand in the pocket and trade, instead of climbing on a bike and peddling away.

The difference may have been training in the thin mountain air, but for much of the ninth Alexander’s crisp combinations were spot on as Matthysse’s advance began to slow a bit.

It was midway through the tenth and final frame that I remembered a conversation with Don King Productions’ Alan Hopper earlier in the week at Marquette Rec Center, the home gym of Trainer Kevin Cunningham and his charge.

He said, “He’s a different fighter. That Bradley fight changed him.”

Watching the pair leave everything in the ring during the final half minute, I realized it was true.

The final call was a split decision in Alexander’s favor.
Of course there were cries of protest from Matthysse and his posse, but it could have gone either way. The fact remains it was an even fight and Matthysse didn’t deliver on his promise to take it out of the judges’ hands.

An important point is that Team Alexander continues to face the toughest competition time and again, even after the setback against Bradley.

And when the momentum swayed against him in those critical seconds early in the fourth, Alexander did what real fighters do. He got up, dusted himself off and fought for his life.
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SEFPREZ

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PostSubject: Re: St. Louis American Column on Main Event    Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:42 pm

Very nice article GmcB! Thanks for gracing the forum with your presence. We miss you around here - good seeing you soon brother.
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lilMickeystl

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PostSubject: Re: St. Louis American Column on Main Event    Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:04 pm

Nice Piece Glenn.....
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Cutman

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PostSubject: Re: St. Louis American Column on Main Event    Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:47 pm

Thanks so much for providing the forum.

Being at the fights is always exciting, although who knows what the future holds with regards to big, nationally televised events here. Maybe I'll move to Vegas in November when it starts to get cold.
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