By: Daniel Smith
The former world champion Andre Berto (32-5, 24 KOs) snatches the win by split decision in a 12 round dust-up in last night’s fight against the gallant former champion Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs).
The bell clanged for round 1 as both fighters rushed towards each other and went toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring like two ferocious pit bulls. The southpaw, Alexander, was sharper and slicker than his rival and presented problems to from the off, finding success with a glut of speedy combinations, powerful right hooks before connecting with a solid straight left that dropped Berto in round 3.
“The Great” continued to deploy his gruelling and ripping “head-body-head” combos; notching up the first four rounds of the bout. However, by the fifth, Alexander slowed down and had taken his foot off the gas somewhat, allowing Berto “The Beast” opportunity to get stuck in and claw back some desperately needed rounds.
It cost him the four rounds, however, Berto had become wise to the southpaw’s traps and combinations; now attacking and punishing on the inside, breaking down his tiring opponent’s defence. By round 7, the relentless Berto had certainly slipped a gear or two and was slamming on the pressure to a fatigued and low guarded Devon Alexander.
Andre was clearly less spent than his opponent and utilised the upper hand to dominate in the later rounds. After one of their numerous clinches and tie-ups, “The Beast” tagged Alexander with some heavy left and right hooks. Alexander, however, dug deep and fired back using what was left of his dwindling ammunition; force-feeding a straight left to his challenger. Berto’s legs seemed to momentarily stiffen, but he hung on and recovered quickly, seemingly unscathed.
The ref ruled a “slip” in round 10 after Alexander hit the canvass. Thereafter, both corners had encouraging words to keep their fighters’ fires ablaze until the very end. The battle finished how it started, with both men going toe-to-toe, scrapping it out in a vicious slugfest. Berto detonated with a beefy uppercut, followed by an over the top right before peppering Alexander with a rapid six-punch combination that whammed against the ribs, forcing his back to the ropes where he absorbed more punishing and clobbering left and right hooks.
With the clang of the final bell, the fight was over and both men shared a respectful embrace, commending one another’s ability, grit and determination in a fight that displayed rapid and brutal exchanges of leather, in a real toe-to-toe slugfest to the end, with both warriors refusing to quit.
The judge’s scorecards were close but a split decision was awarded to the underdog, Andre “The Beast” Berto. The bookies favourite, Devon Alexander was understandably disappointed and has said to be discussing things with his team, moving forward. In the meantime, Andre Berto is relishing the prospect of his next fight and whether this win will lead to title contention.
The undercard of the event saw 10 rounds of super middleweight action, and the former middleweight world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) earn a unanimous decision victory over J’Leon Love (24-2-1, 13 KOs).
Peter Quillin’s work-rate and power-shots proved all too much for J’Leon Love. Quillin piled on the pressure and dominated the fight throughout; backing up his opponent, battering him on the ropes – raging and firing-out solid flurries that clobbered and thudded Love’s head and body.
“Kid Chocolate” firmly stamped his authority and controlled the fight, exemplifying his speed, power and accuracy; peppering, pounding and punishing J’Leon Love with a slew of explosive chopping rights and hooking powerhouse lefts.
In the eighth, J’Leon was pressed to the corner while Quillin pelted him with another torrent of heavy shots to further convince the judges scoring. Love didn’t really have much to respond or bother Quillin with, and by the end of the fight it was a clear a unanimous decision was on the cards, with all judges later favouring and declaring Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin as the winner of the bout.
With no ring-rust in sight, the future may be prosperous for the former champion.