Alexander beats Kotelnik to remain unbeaten

American Devon Alexander retained his WBC and IBF junior

welterweight titles with a unanimous 12-round decision over Andriy

Kotelnik of the Ukraine on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Alexander (21-0) won 116-112 on all three cards.

He scored enough points early to withstand a late charge from

31-year-old Kotelnik (31-4-1), a former WBA super lightweight

champion.

Alexander suffered a deep cut over his right eye in the 10th

round but was able to keep away from Kotelnik long enough to record

the decision. He hopes to face fellow title-holder Timothy Bradley

(26-0) in a battle of unbeaten 140-pound (63.5-kilogram) fighters

in January.

”I thought I did enough to win,” Alexander said. ”It was an

OK performance. He was tough as nails, give him credit.”

Alexander, a southpaw, used a stick-and-jab method to rack up

points early in the fight. He was the more active fighter and held

a 1,113-763 advantage in punches thrown during the 12-round

affair.

”I trained for 12 rounds and got the victory,” Alexander said.

”That is what I came here to do.”

Kotelnik, 31, opened a cut above Alexander’s right eye in the

fifth round. The cut opened further in the 10th, forcing Alexander

to hang on down the stretch while cramping up in the final

round.

”It was my first cut, but I fought through it like a world

champion,” Alexander said.

Kotelnik, a silver medalist at the 2000 Olympics, won three of

the last four rounds on one judge’s card and two of the last four

on the other two. But it wasn’t enough to overcome Alexander’s

strong start.

Kotelnik felt the judges were influenced by the pro-Alexander

crowd of 9,117.

”I want the belt, I deserve it,” Kotelnik said through an

interpreter. ”If the fight happened anywhere but here, I would be

the champion. I have no words to describe what happened. That guy

has something that belongs to me.”

Earlier, IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud of the

United States successfully defended his crown with a hard-earned

unanimous decision over Jamaican veteran Glen Johnson.

Alexander, an amateur Golden Gloves standout, jumped into the

limelight with an eighth-round knockout of Juan Urango in March and

solidified his reputation as an up-and-coming fighter with the

gutsy win on Saturday.

Cloud (21-0), 28, used his strength to wear down the 41-year-old

Johnson (50-14-2). All three judges scored the fight 116-112.

In a preliminary bout, Cornelius Bundrage recorded a technical

knockout of IBF junior middleweight champion Cory Spinks 1:28 into

the fourth round. Bundrage (30-4), the mandatory challenger,

knocked Spinks into the ropes and referee Mark Nelson stopped the

fight before completing the count. Bundrage has 18 knockouts.

Spinks is 37-6.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., Evander Holyfield and St. Louis Rams

running back Steven Jackson were in attendance