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Matthysse-Alexander early results

By Jim Dower: In a loaded undercard of the Lucas Matthysse vs. Devon Alexander fight card at the Family Arena, Saint Charles, Missouri, IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (23-0, 19 KO’s) stopped #1 International Boxing Federation challenger Yusuf Mack (29-4, 17 KO’s) in the 8th round. Cloud, 29, making his fourth defense of his title, hurt Mack with a big left hook to the head in the 8th.

Cloud then flurried on Mack, putting him down with a right hand to the head. Mack, 31, was able to make it back to his feet but was unable to walk to referee Sam Williams when he asked Mack to walk towards him to check him out after the knockdown. The official time of the stoppage was 2:57 of the round.

Mack had been doing a decent job against Cloud in rounds one through three, using his faster hands and movement to keep Cloud from getting off. However, the movement came at a price for Mack because it was clear that he couldn’t keep it up for the entire 12 round fight. He would have to slow down eventually to fight Cloud because he didn’t have the stamina to move the entire fight.

In the 4th, Cloud began to take over the fight with his hard combinations. Mack still was moving well at this time, but he was now getting hit more and more. Cloud landed a huge left hand in the last minute of the fourth that had the crowd making noise. Cloud’s nose began to bleed in the 5th round some of the big shots that Mack was nailing him with from time to time. However, Cloud continued to pressure Mack and landed enough big shots to win the 5th. In the 6th and 7th rounds, Mack tried to move as much as he could to escape danger, but Cloud was still able to tag him again and again with hard combinations. By then Mack was landing only rarely and spending most of the time just trying not to get hit.

In the 8th, Mack was having a better round until running into a hard left hand from Cloud that badly hurt Mack. Cloud then flurried on Mack until he hit the canvas. The fight was then halted as Mack got up and couldn’t follow the referee’s instructions.

In heavyweight action, 6’2″ Canadian heavyweight contender Bermane Stiverne (21-1-1, 20 KO’s) stopped 40-year-old number #4 ranked World Boxing Council (WBC) contender Ray Austin (28-6-4, 18 KO’s) in the 10th round to win the vacant WBC Silver heavyweight title. But more importantly, Stiverne won the WBC heavyweight title eliminator to earn the right to be WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko’s mandatory challenger. That’s good for the 32-year-old Stiverne to earn a good payday against Klitschko, but it’s bad that Stiverne has pretty much zero chance of actually beating Vitali. Stiverne looked truly awful against Austin in this fight.

I mean Austin looked terrible as well, a little worse than Stiverne, but Stiverne showed nothing to indicate that he would even be mildly competitive with Vitali. To me Stiverne looked like a poor man’s version of Samuel Peter, a fighter that Vitali easily beat in 2008.

As for the Austin-Stiverne fight, Austin controlled the fight with his jabs through most of the rounds. Stiverne, the much harder puncher, simply just wouldn’t let his hands go enough to really do much in most of the rounds. However, Stiverne came alive in the 7th when he staggered Austin with a hard right hand late in the round. Stiverne did next to nothing other than that, but it was enough to win the round. Stiverne won the 8th with a few big punches as well, but continued to be frustrating with his inability to really let his hands go. He let Austin pound him with jabs for most of the round before tagging him with a few big shots. The exertion of throwing seemed to wind Stiverne. Austin came back in the 9th to control the action with his jab, while Stiverne rested from throwing around 10 punches in the last round. In the 10th, Stiverne hurt Austin immediately with a big left uppercut that put Austin down on his back. He was able to get back up but the fight was halted by referee Mike England at 0:43 of the round.

In other action on the card:

Devon Alexander SD 12 Lucas Matthysse
Cornelius Bundrage UD 12 Sechew Powell
IBF light middleweight title
Ryan Coyne UD 12 David McNemar
Cory Spinks UD 10 Shakir Ashanti
Yuri Ramanau TKO 5 Darien Ford
Nelson Linares UD 8 Jose Spearman
Chaen Chess TKO 2 Michael Lunsford
Omar Henry TKO 1 Chris Tyler
Valery Brudov TKO 2 Jim Franklin

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