Lee Groves

10: Most notable St. Louis title fights


August 7, 2010, Scottrade Center – Devon Alexander W 12 Andriy Kotelnik/Cornelius Bundrage W 12 Cory Spinks/Tavoris Cloud W 12 Glen Johnson

Individually, these fights stack up well in terms of action and drama but collectively they created what might have been the biggest night in St. Louis’ long boxing history. Never before had the city hosted a championship triple-header and each fight featured its own special brand of drama.

Alexander-Kotelnik pitted a rising star in the 23-year-old two-belt titleholder against a difficult former titlist hungry to regain his place of prominence. This see-saw fight challenged the judges to choose Kotelnik’s aggression, accuracy and harder punches or Alexander’s volume, style and geography. In the end they all saw Alexander an unexpectedly wide 116-112 winner.

Bundrage-Spinks was the upset of the night, for before the fight the 36-year-old “K9” was viewed as just another “Contender” doomed to fail in a step-up fight against the city’s stalwart star. Instead, an inspired Bundrage issued a beating to what was the worn-out shell of Spinks and referee Mark Nelson intervention at 1:28 of round five saved him from even further punishment.

Though the local fighters endured difficult nights Cloud-Johnson was a riveting old-school brawl between two predators; one was a 28-year-old at the peak of his powers while the other was a sprightly 41-year-old that would have made “The Old Mongoose” proud. The old man stormed after “Thunder” with vigorous volume punching and never-ending pressure, but Johnson’s fellow Floridian was up to the challenge and finished the fight stronger. The 116-112 scores across the board appeared a bit wide, but the action provided made itthe fight of a historic night.

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