Lucas Matthysse lost a controversial decision last night to Devon Alexander on Alexander's home turf in St. Louis (well, Saint Charles), and spoke with BoxingScene.com's Lem Satterfield after the fight. It's a good, quick interview, but I wanted to focus on just two things, so go read the whole thing.
"You know, he's a very slick fighter. He was slick. He's a good fighter, but not a great fighter. I was just a couple of inches short of knocking him out. ... He did what he had to do to get the hell out of there when he was hurt. I did what I had to do, and that's just the way that it goes, man. ... Zab Judah is 10 times a better fighter than Devon Alexander."
Like last year's Alexander vs Andriy Kotelnik fight, I thought this was a clear decision that should have gone against Alexander. My issues with Alexander have nothing to do with his personality or his guts or his ability. He fights good fighters, and he's not the one scoring the fights, and if there's any sort of actual corruption going on, I doubt Devon Alexander or any fighter would be the one greasing the wheels. Alexander does his job out there.
But he's just not the fighter he was hyped as being. Whether or not Judah is ten times better than Alexander is a debate I could get lost in, but I do know this: When Zab Judah lands, he lands. Alexander to me seems more concerned with the appearance of speed, and he just doesn't get home with so many punches, especially his flicked-out jab. And he seems to fight absent-minded at times, as if he's just going through the motions.
I think Devon Alexander is still a top ten fighter in the division, but I also think he should have lost to Kotelnik and Matthysse, and was given some judging help in both cases. Forget about losing to Tim Bradley -- those are the fights where Alexander's stock really takes a hit.
Also, have the hometown-style decisions done Alexander more harm than good at this point? What I mean is, Alexander can draw an OK crowd in the St. Louis area (though the 6K or so last night wasn't great), but which top fighters are going to go there to fight him now? After the fight, promoter Gary Shaw (who was behind Bradley in January) had this to say:
That is why we took Bradley to Detroit. That is where Matthysse should have fought. He would have won
How far off are all promoters from feeling this way about dealing with Devon and Don?