Devon Alexander fought a much more offensive-minded fight than normal tonight, hustling along with noted workrate fiend Jesus Soto Karass, winning a 10-round unanimous decision in an entertaining fight at the StubHub Center on Showtime tonight.
Alexander (26-2, 14 KO) won on scores of 97-93, 99-91, and 99-91, the latter two considered wide by most observers. BLH had it 97-93 for Alexander, while Showtime's Steve Farhood scored it 96-94 for the St. Louis native. Those 7-3 or 6-4 scores were the vast majority of the tallies from fans and media online or ringside and posting on Twitter.
Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KO) was his usual self tonight, but put himself in a 4-0 hole early on, as he was outquicked and outboxed by the favored fighter, whose speed was the clear difference early on. But as Alexander kept a higher punch output than normal, there was always a chance for Soto Karass, who was given openings to work with, and did stick shots in here and there in the early going.
As the fight wore on, Soto Karass was able to keep up the pace, as it was more his normal speed, while Alexander faded just a hair. But in the late rounds, Devon picked it back up, and the 10th round in particular was feverishly paced, with both guys trading and throwing shots like the fight was on the line for each of them.
After the fight, Alexander sounded pleased with his performance.
"I'm my own worst critic. I wanted to shut him out. But he's a tough, tough competitor. You've seen that over the years. He's a tough, tough competitor," Alexander told Showtime's Jim Gray. "Sometimes, I wanted to go for it and put a little hurt on him, but I listened to (my trainer) for the most part. (Soto Karass) just keeps coming. I tried to pace myself. My coach told me to relax. I could see my punches more, instead of just going out there and mixing shots."
When asked if he meant to put on more of a show tonight, Alexander said, "Yes. I mean, people just -- I don't know what it is about me. Sometimes I look good, sometimes I don't. But I'm a good fighter with skills. I'm gonna be the best one day. I promise you."
"It's up to my coach," Alexander said about what he'll do following this win. "I'm a fighter. That's what I do. I can't do nothing else."
Soto Karass accepted the defeat with grace.
"At times I thought I was winning the fight, but we do respect the decision of the judges," Soto Karass said through a translator. "The corner told me to pressure, that we were losing the rounds, and I just couldn't do enough."
Alexander landed 277 of 709 punches (39%), including 52% of his power shots (212 of 405) and 21% of his jabs (65 of 304). Soto Karass landed 21% of his shots (193 of 923), including 14% of his jabs (55 of 382) and 138 of 541 power shots (26%).