Gateway to Greatness Goes Down to the Wire

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Seven L. Maxwell

Of course, this is posted days after the main event and by now I’m certain that you’ve heard every detail about the main event; however, everyone’s account of the fight are probably going to be slightly different, so here you have it from a DELUX point of view.

9,117 people—including big names in boxing such as: Don King, Evander Holyfield, and Floyd Mayweather, Leon Spinks—attended the fight titled “Gateway to Greatness” to see if St. Louis had what it takes  to take it to the next level again.  With four boxers on the card to represent the home team, we were sure to take home the victory all night, right?!? WRONG!!! From the 1st punch in the first bout, it was downhill for St. Louis, but as a city of pride, we refused to go home without a victory—again.

There were seven bouts and honestly, most of you all only care about the St. Louis fighter so here we go. First up from St. Louis was Chris Tyler. In this six-round bout against German fighter, Ramzan Adaev, Tyler took a loss by unanimous decision.  Although he lost the fight, he showed heart by staying on his feet all the way down to the wire.

Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne was the second St. Louisan to step in the ring.  In the WBC Cruiserweight Championship, Coyne immerged the victor by TKO in 2:21 of 9th round of a 12-round bout.

Next up from St. Louis, Corey “The Next Generation” Spinks. Now, what can I say about that? It was almost like Déjà vu.  While dancing his way to the ring, the crowd toyed with the thought of being too tired to finish the fight.  It was a sad display of emotions as the crowd watched in embarrassment how this fight went down.  As bad as he and his native St. Louisans wanted Spinks to win, we could recognize one thing: It was going to be over—early.  Despite the fact that Spinks wasn’t the main event, nor was his fight going to be shown on HBO; the crowd still worked to keep him motivated until his fall in the 5th round.   After Spinks recovered from flying through the ropes after being pushed by Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, it wasn’t long until the young Spinks would take a fall that would cause him to lose his IBF Junior Middleweight title.  As he stammered to his feet, the referee called the match.  It’s over by a TKO. The crowd booed as they realized that it was really over.  The referee called it quits, and so did a lot of St. Louisans.  So you know what they did—yep! Jumped ship and hopped aboard the Alexander Express.

The crowd watched anxiously as Devon Alexander “The Great” entered the ring of the Main Event with a most-fitting intro.  As “All I do is Win” rang out, a stadium full of new members of Team Alexander threw their hands up in support of the hometown hero.  A young sport coming into the ring with an undefeated 20-0 record with 13KOs battling Andriy Kotelnik for the WBC/IBF Junior Welterweight titles, Alexander not only had the pressure of defending his title in front of millions of viewers, he had to do it at home. He knew that he was the last hope for St. Louis’s boxing scene.  Two of the three boxers before him failed at the task at hand, and now it was up to him to keep the crowd from a potentially embarrassing display in front of those tuned in to HBO to see if Don King’s latest prodigy (who happens to remind me of a young Mike Tyson for some odd reason) was going to pull it off.

Round by round, the crowd cooed and cringed as blows were exchanged between the title holder and his opponent.  Rounds 1 through 4, both fighters looked strong and this fight could go either way. By round 5, Alexander’s face was definitely cut but he still looked strong, and the crowd sat on the edge of their seats because fight could still go either way. Kotelnik was getting busy with those hands, and Alexander’s face was proof that Kotelnik was going for blood. As Alexander appeared to start taking more punches than landing them, the city’s last chance at victory was looking pretty grim. By round 8, there was blood flying with each blow to Alexander’s right eye.  He began showing signs of fatigue, got a short boost, but took some major punches until the bell rang.

In round 9 there was a pause in the action so someone could take a look at his cut, but Alexander continued with this round knowing there was no turning back.  Round 11 ended with a strong finish; although he looked his weakest in round 12. By the final bell, the crowd was torn between optimism and fear.  People began to speculate as to the winner of the bout.  Afraid that the final decision was based on that of the three judges, some people counted him out.   The crowd fell silent as world famous announcer, Michael Buffer took to the mic and stated, “By a unanimous decision…the winner and still  WBC/IBF Junior Welterweight champion of the world: DEVON Alexander….”  By a narrow margin of 116-112, he brought home the victory!  The stadium erupted in celebration as the city crowned their new King of the Ring.

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