It might not have been the great fight some hoped for, but Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander showed what they had tonight at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, until a 10th round clash of heads stopped the bout prematurely and led to an early night for the judges. Bradley won on scores of 98-93, 97-93, and 96-95. Bad Left Hook scored it 98-93 for Bradley.
Final CompuBox numbers of a competitive fight were very close. Alexander landed 129 of 475 punches (27%), including 98 of 304 power punches (32%). Bradley landed 128 of 419 punches (31%), and 89 of 257 power shots (35%). But it was Bradley's sometimes over-the-top, sometimes straight right hand that did the fight's most damage, at least not counting the many accidental (ruled) headbutts, one of which opened a bad cut on Alexander's right eyelid, and the final that opened a stinging cut just outside of Alexander's left eye, which left him unable to open his eye during the time the doctor was taking a look at him. He also appeared dazed, and I don't think there's any arguing that it was a hard clash of heads, and some will say that it looked deliberate from Bradley.
Alexander is going to be accused of quitting on the fight, but I really don't think that's the case. If you can't get your eye to stay open, no doctor is going to let you go back into the fight. That's just the way it is. Whether you question Alexander's mental makeup overall is up to you, and I can see those concerns. But I have to say I think it's unfair to call him a quitter. He never looked like he was desperate or aching to get out of the fight, and generally when guys "quit," you see something more than just "Well I quit" at some point. Alexander didn't look defeated, really. At least not to me.
Bradley (27-0, 11 KO) will now likely look for a bout with Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KO) later in the year, maybe this fall. Khan fights in April against an opponent yet to be finalized, but it looks likely to either be Lamont Peterson after negotiations with Paul McCloskey fell apart. Alexander's future is far less clear at this point, but the hope will be that he fights someone like Marcos Maidana, or maybe even a rematch with Andriy Kotelnik, where I think there is some unfinished business.
I will also say I thought Alexander looked better tonight than he did against Kotelnik. Bradley fought his usual fight, which was enough. I don't think it's enough against Amir Khan, but maybe it is. Bradley is one of those guys I never feel overly impressed with, but at the same time would never count him out of a fight unless you're talking about Bradley against Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, some sort of mega-talent with the resume to go with it. He's a confident, determined, tough dude.
We'll probably have a little more tomorrow on this fight, which had an anti-climactic ending but I think told us some more about both guys, good and bad. Thanks for joining us tonight.