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Martinez decisions Alexander; Selby defeats Montiel – Live Results

Devon Alexander Fernando Montiel(Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/PBC) By Scott Gilfoid: We may have seen former two division world champion Devon Alexander’s career effectively ended tonight with him losing a 10 round unanimous decision to journeyman Aaron Martinez (20-4-1, 4 KOs) on Wednesday night on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN from the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, Arizona. The final judges’ scores were 96-94, 97-93 and 97-93, all for Martinez.

You hate to say that Alexander’s career is over with, but with him losing 3 out of his last 4 fights, I think you can make an argument for that possibility. Alexander’s punishing loss to Shawn Porter in 2013 seems to have taken something out of him because he hasn’t looked the same since then. Alexander was beaten by Amir Khan by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision last December. Alexander then stayed out of the ring for 10 months until coming back to fight Martinez tonight. Alexander looked worse in this fight than he did in the Khan fight if you can believe it.

Martinez struggled in the first three rounds of the fight against the sharp hitting Alexander. However, from rounds 4 through 10, Martinez took the fight to the inside and dominated Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) the rest of the way. Alexander looked really sluggish and slow in the second half of the fight, and he clearly was tired from the pressure that Martinez was putting on him.

The referee Wes Melton let Alexander get a way with a lot of holding in the fight, as well as shoving and spin moves. Without the holding, spin moves and shoving, I think Alexander would have been really beaten bad. He had to hold Martinez to keep him from fighting on the inside, and the shoving helped Alexander get Martinez off of him at times. Melton gave Alexander a big break by not climbing all over him and taking points off for these tactics.

Alexander appeared to be hurt by big right hands from Martinez in the 8th and 10th rounds. Martinez measured Alexander well with those punches and landed some bombs.

I’m not sure what was wrong with Alexander. His hand speed doesn’t look as good as it was four years ago, and he doesn’t seem to have the same stamina that he had when he was younger. At 28, Alexander is by no means an old guy, but he fought like that tonight. He’s not the fast guy that was a force in both the 140 and 147lb divisions in the past. He’s now a sluggish fighter, who doesn’t have the stamina to fight hard for more than 4 or 5 rounds, and can’t fight on the outside. If Alexander was able to stay on the outside tonight, he could have made this and easy fight. He just couldn’t do it though.

After tonight’s fight, I think I speak for everyone when I saw that Alexander needs to move back down to light welterweight so that he can at least have a chance at doing something with the remainder of his career. He clearly isn’t able to do anything at 147, and I see it getting worse for him in the future when/if he starts facing better opposition. Heck, Alexander lost to a high level journeyman tonight in Martinez. If he’d been in with someone really talented like Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, Tim Bradley, Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia, Alexander would have been badly beaten and possibly stopped. The Alexander that clinched his way to a 10 round unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in 2012 no longer exists. Alexander is not the same fighter now. As such, he needs to move back down to 140 and hope he can do something with his career.

In a mismatch in size and youth, the younger and much bigger 5’9″ IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (22-1, 8 KOs) beat the much smaller and older 5’4″ Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112.

I had Selby winning 9 rounds to 3. He threw a lot more punches than Montiel, and dominated the action for the most part aside from three rounds. Montiel, 36, surprisingly landed a lot of hard punches in the fight. When Montiel was on the attack mode, he was able to get inside Selby’s reach to nail him with big left hooks to the head. Selby’s right eye was swollen and an angry red by the 8th. Selby could have done a lot better if he’d applied a lot more pressure in this fight.

Selby connected on 236 of 809 punches for a 29 percent connect rate. For his part, Montiel landed 141 of 539 punches.

I had Montiel winning rounds 1, 2 & 6. But he seemed to get tired after the 6th round. That’s when Montiel stopped pressuring Selby, and basically let him take command of the fight in the last six rounds. However, Montiel was still able to land some nice shots in every round of the fight. If he had the stamina and the willingness to attack the stork-like Selby really hard in every round, he would have beaten him. Selby cannot fight backing up, as we saw tonight. He’s all arms and legs when he’s backing up and getting attacked hard. Montiel could have won the fight if he had just gone after Selby really hard and made him run around the ring, because he definitely struggled each time he was forced to retreat.

Selby constantly ran from Montiel and tied him up when he was under attack. During those instances, Selby’s technique went to pieces and he just flailed wildly and looked nothing like a world champion. He just looked like an amateurish domestic level fighter.

What we learned from this fight is that good short pressure fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko or Leo Santa Cruz would have an easy time getting to Selby and battering him with left hooks, which he has no defense against. It doesn’t matter that those guys are shorter than Selby. They have excellent left hooks, and they would work the light hitting Selby over with their big shots. I think Gary Russell Jr. would beat Selby as well, and Jhonny Gonzalez would be a nightmare for him if he were still fighting at featherweight.

I think Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn will keep him away from the good fighters after tonight’s fight because he was really badly exposed by Montiel. What this means is we won’t likely be seeing Selby fighting guys like Russell Jr, Leo Santa Cruz and definitely not Lomachenko. Selby is too flawed to beat any of those guys, and I’m sure Hearn will realize that after seeing this fight.

***

IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) will be fighting for the first time in the United States tonight against the old war horse Fernando Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KOs) in Selby’s first defense of his IBF strap.

Selby’s promoter could have selected someone else for him to fight, someone higher ranked than the 36-year-old #10 IBF Montiel, but he opted instead to go for a lower ranked guy who is giving up almost 6 inches in height to the 5’9” Selby.

If you remembered the mismatch between the much taller Viktor Postol facing Lucas Matthysse recently, then you’ll know what kind of fight that we’ll be seeing tonight between Selby and the 5’4” Montiel. You hate to see a fight that is basically won on size and age alone, but that’s pretty much what we’ll be having tonight.

If Montiel and Selby were both only 5’4”, and both 36, then it would be an evenly matched fight. But the fact that Selby has a huge size and youth advantage over the tiny 5’4” Montiel, it tells you that we’re going to be seeing a mismatch. I know boxing fans are asking the question of why Selby is facing Montiel instead of guys like Vasyl Lomachenko Nonito Donaire, Gary Russell Jr, Abner Mares, Jayson Velez, Jesus Cuellar, Jhonny Gonzalez, Oscar Valdez, or Leo Santa Cruz.

You can’t say that all of those fighters were unavailable for this fight, can you? Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn could have dug deep to lure at least one of them to take the fight, and we’d have an excellent fight instead of the mismatch we’ll be seeing tonight.

I predict a real slaughter tonight. It’s not because Selby is great, but rather the tiny Montiel doesn’t belong in this division in my view. He started out as a flyweight and he’s fighting 4 divisions above his original weight class. Now can you imagine what Selby would be like if he were fighting 4 divisions above his original weight class by fighting at welterweight at 147.

If you threw Selby in the ring right now in a sink or swim fashion against the likes of Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr, what do you think would happen? First off, Selby’s height advantage would virtually disappear for the most part, and what little height advantage he had over some of those fighters wouldn’t help him a bit because they would be all over him with their huge power.

Also on tonight’s card is the talented former two division world champion Devon Alexander (26-3 14 KOs) getting back into the swing of things in a nice contest against the tough as nails Aaron Martinez (19-4-1, 4 KOs) in a fight that should be the most exciting one on the night.

Martinez has power, speed, and a ton of heart. He’s a fighter that could easy have an unbeaten 24-0 record if he had the right guys behind him from the start of his career in terms of trainers and such. Martinez is fighting out of this world right now, and he should have won his last fight against Robert Guerrero last June. Martinez had Guerrero literally out on his feet after catching him against the ropes. I had Martinez winning that fight, but the judges gave the fight to the better known Guerrero.

Alexander will need to bring his A-game tonight if he wants to beat Martinez becaue this is going to be a really tough affair.

Alexander has had a few minor problems recently in losing to Shawn Porter and Amir Khan. Those were both winnable fights for him if he had used the right fight strategy in both bouts. Against Khan, Alexander just needed to put a lot of pressure on him for 3 minutes of every round instead of boxing him all night.

Alexander just got his game plan a little backwards for that fight, but that’s something that he can easily fix tonight and in the future if he faces Khan a second time. For his fight against Porter, Alexander needed to box and move, and tie him up. What we saw instead was Alexander standing stationary and letting Porter bull him to the ropes and work over.

Alexander has the talent to make this a really easy fight tonight against Martinez if he wants to. If he fights smart and uses his boxing skills, then he should be able to win this fight with ease. If not, then it’s going to be another grueling affair for him like the Porter fight was.

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