Boxing

Devon Alexander vs Andriy Kotelnik on Aug 7

A typical boxing press conference today at Scottrade Center in St. Louis suddenly turned raucous after undefeated unified 140-pound world champion Devon Alexander's trainer told former WBA junior welterweight champion Andriy Kotelnik, a Ukrainian making his first visit to America, "That's a long way to come for an ass whuppin." Alexander (20-0, 13 KOs), from St. Louis, will put his WBC and IBF crowns on the line against Kotelnik (31-3-1, 13 KOs) in an Aug. 7 world championship doubleheader that will also feature undefeated IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud (20-0, 18 KOs), from Tallahassee, Fla., taking on former IBF world champion Glen Johnson, from Jamaica now fighting out of Miami..

Kotelnik did not take kindly to Cunningham's comments on behalf of Alexander.

"They say it's a long way to come for an ass kicking, but I have a question for Devon Alexander after his people have made all these boasts," Kotelnik said. "Will Devon come back and fight me in a rematch in the Ukraine after I kick his ass?

"There will be an ass kicking, but St. Louis will be surprised who will be doing it."

Cunningham had more for Kotelnik.

"I never make predictions, and I wasn't going to tell the public this, but I just told my team last week that Devon's going to knock out Kotelnik in two rounds. We're kicking his ass."

Alexander was more reserved in his comments.

"Kotelnik is a good, solid fighter. But I'm a better fighter. His time has come and gone. He was a champion but he's not anymore, and he's certainly not going to be champion after this fight.

Cunningham, before he made his bolder comments, spoke of how proud he is of Alexander.

"Devon is the perfect example of what you can do with hard work and dedication," Cunningham said. "He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He wasn't even the best fighter in my gym, but look at him now. Look at what hard work and remembering to rise above your circumstances can do."

Promoter Don King was his normal effusive self.

"So you know, what we have is here is like when Dorothy clicked her heels in the Wizard of Oz, like when Marvin Gayle said, 'Something's Goin' On,' we've got something big going on in St. Louis on Aug. 7," King said. "Two world championships already, and I'm not done building the card yet."

Light heavyweight world champion Cloud said his fight with Johnson will be a good one.

"Glen comes right at you and nobody will be running in this fight," Cloud said. "That's not my style. Glen is a good fighter and so am I. St. Louis will get more than their money's worth come Aug. 7."

Johnson's thoughts were much the same as Cloud's in summing up their fight.

"I see a lot of similarity in my style and Tavoris Cloud's style," Johnson said. "He likes to come forward and so do I. We're both going into the kitchen to do some cooking, and St. Louis will get the meal."

Tickets priced at $17.50, $35, $70, $150 and $300 went on sale this morning at Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com. A per ticket facility fee will be added to all tickets purchased at all locations, including at the Scottrade Center Box Office. Additional Ticketmaster service charges and handling fees apply. For disabled seating, call 314-622-5420. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions, and doors will open at 5:30 p.m. followed by a full undercard. The above-mentioned world championships will be televised live on HBO's Boxing After Dark beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT (9 p.m. CT). Cloud vs. Johnson is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing Promotions.

Raw Quotes


Don King: "So you know what we have is here is like when Dorothy clicked her heels in the Wizard of Oz… Like when Marvin Gayle said, 'Something's Goin' On,' we've got something big going on in St. Louis on Aug. 7. Two world championships already, and I'm not done building the card yet.

"This is a great chance for the people of St. Louis to see their hometown hero return for the first time as world champion. Not a single world champion, but as the WBC and IBF king at 140 pounds."

Glen Johnson: "I want to thank St. Louis for having us. This is a great event. I want to thank my promoters and Don King.

"I see a lot of similarity in my style and Tavoris Cloud's style. He likes to come forward and so do I. We're both going into the kitchen to do some cooking, and St. Louis will get the meal."

Tavoris Cloud: "Glen comes right at you and nobody will be running in this fight. That's not my style. Glen is a good fighter and so am I. St. Louis will get more than their money's worth come Aug. 7."

Andriy Kotelnik: "It is great to be in America for the first time. This will be the most difficult and challenging fight of my career against a St. Louis favorite. I want everyone in America to know that I didn't come here to be an opponent. I came here to become world champion again. I will be in the best condition of my career."

Kotelnik responded after a verbal assault from Alexander's trainer, Kevin Cunningham: "They say it's a long way to come for an ass kicking, but I have a question for Devon Alexander after his people have made all these boasts: Will Devon come back and fight me in a rematch in the Ukraine after I kick his ass? There will be an ass kicking, but St. Louis will be surprised who will be doing it.

"Alexander and his people are very brave because they are at home. But we'll see how brave they are after I beat Alexander. I still love America. It's one of the great countries, but I have a job to do and I will do it.

"Everybody you know should watch this fight. I am going to show you everything I can do, and you will not be disappointed.

"I would like to thank Don King personally, Don King Productions staff and HBO. I would like to thank Mr. King for making the long trip to my hometown of Lviv, Ukraine, to sign me last month."

Devon Alexander: "First of all, I want to thank God. He is the leader of my life and career. Thanks to Don, the greatest promoter in the world. Thanks to the coach of the year, in my book, Kevin Cunningham.

"It's a blessing to be back in St. Louis. For those of you who don't know me, I started out on undercards here in St. Louis. Look at me now. I'm in the main event.

"As far as the fight goes, everybody knows me and that I'm coming to fight. Trainers don't win fights. They can talk all they want. With my trainer Kevin, we make a plan and then we execute it. As long as Kevin is in my corner, I will never lose.

Kotelnik is a good, solid fighter. But I'm a better fighter. His time has come and gone. He was a champion but he's not anymore, and he's certainly not going to be champion after this fight. It's my time. Now it's off to train in Las Vegas, and I'll see you all when I get back from camp."

Kevin Cunningham (Alexander's trainer and manager): "I'm going to behave myself. I promised my wife and daughter I wouldn't clown. I'm just happy to see all these people come down to this press conference today.

"Devon is the perfect example of what you can do with hard work and dedication. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He wasn't even the best fighter in my gym, but look at him now. Look at what hard work and remembering to rise above your circumstances can do.

"Kotelnik is one of the best fighters in the world. That's why I wanted him for Devon. He beat one of the baddest fighters in the world, Marcos Maidana. This boy Kotelnik is from the Ukraine. That's along way to come for an ass whuppin'."

"I never make predictions, and I wasn't going to tell the public this, but I just told my team last week that Devon's going to knock out Kotelnik in two rounds. We're kicking his ass."

Ryan Coyne: "It's great that I'll be fighting in St. Louis with my friend, Devon. I watched Devon make his ascension up the ranks, fighting on undercards with other Don King champions like Cory Spinks. Now he is a world champion.

"I am also undefeated at cruiserweight and I look forward to following in his path."


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING DOUBLEHEADER IN ST. LOUIS ON AUG. 7TH

Two undefeated world champions will put their crowns on the line in separate bouts at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Aug. 7 in one of the best boxing showcases of the summer. Hometown hero and unified World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation 140-pound champion Devon Alexander "The Great" (20-0, 13 KOs) will be challenged by former WBA super lightweight champion Andriy Kotelnik (31-3-1, 13 KOs), from Lviv, Ukraine, and IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud (20-0, 18 KOs), from Tallahassee, Fla., will meet former IBF light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson (50-13-2, 34 KOs), born in Jamaica and now fighting out of Miami.

Dubbed "Gateway to Greatness… The Homecoming" by promoter Don King-noting Alexander will be fighting in his hometown for the first time as world champion-Alexander and Cloud possess rare, identical and perfect unblemished 20-win records.

Tickets priced at $17.50, $35, $70, $150 and $300 are on sale now at Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com. A per ticket facility fee will be added to all tickets purchased at all locations, including at the Scottrade Center Box Office. Additional Ticketmaster service charges and handling fees apply. For disabled seating, call 314-622-5420. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions, and doors will open at 5:30 p.m. followed by a full undercard. The above-mentioned world championships will be televised live on HBO's Boxing After Dark beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT (9 p.m. CT). Cloud vs. Johnson is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing Promotions.

Alexander, still just 23, scored the most scintillating knockout of his career during his last bout when he vanquished then-IBF junior welterweight champion Juan "Iron Twins" Urango with a devastating right uppercut that led to the fight being stopped in the eighth round. Already the WBC champion at the 140-pound limit, Alexander added the IBF strap to become a unified world champion.

His Ukrainian-born opponent, Kotelnik, will be making his first appearance in America. He held the World Boxing Association title at 140 pounds from 2007 until July 18, 2009, where he lost by decision to United Kingdom phenom Amir Khan.

Of special note is the fact that while champion, Kotelnik became the only man to defeat Marcos Maidana, who has long been rumored to be a prospective opponent for Alexander. After losing by split decision to Kotelnik on Feb. 7, 2009, Maidana rebounded from the first and only loss to become interim WBA super lightweight champion by scoring wins over the highly regarded Victor Ortiz (24-1-1) and Victor Cayo (24-0). The Aug. 7 event will mark Kotelnik's first appearance in America.

Alexander must know that these facts point to the 32-year-old Kotelnik being a very dangerous former world champion to invite to your homecoming to challenge your perfect record and vie for your titles.

Alexander won his first title, the vacant WBC super lightweight championship, by stopping a former holder of that crown, Junior "The Hitter" Witter, when they met on Aug. 1, 2009, in Southern California.

Always a hot prospect, he successfully emerged from the shadow of fighting his entire career out of the Cory Spinks camp by displaying elusive defensive skills-no doubt picked up from his mentor.

Alexander has been building his perfect record since he attended Vashon High School. He served notice that he would be a force to be reckoned with after winning a unanimous decision over former world champion DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley at New York's Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19, 2008.

Equally exciting will be the opportunity to see another undefeated world champion, Tavoris Cloud, meeting former world champion Glen Johnson. Boxing insiders are highly intrigued by Cloud, 28, not simply by the fact he is a world champion with a perfect record. What excites the experts and fans most is his 90-percent knockout ratio that stems from his aggressive, two-handed power that can end a fight on a moment's notice.

The only fighters not put to sleep by Cloud have been Reggie Strickland, in Cloud's sixth fight, and former IBF light heavyweight champion Clinton Woods. Cloud met Woods in his last match for the vacant IBF light heavyweight championship, a title Woods previously held from 2004 to 2008, on Aug. 28, 2009, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Always a consummate boxer, Woods held his own against the hard-hitting Cloud, but it wasn't enough. Cloud proved to have boxing ability to go along with his vaunted power, winning a unanimous decision by the identical scores of 116-112.

His opponent Glen Johnson, 41, is a wily veteran who also held the IBF light heavyweight championship. Two of Johnson's many career highlights came in 2004 when he knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in September and won a unanimous decision over Antonio Tarver in December. This earned Johnson one of the highest honors in boxing when he was designated as "Fighter of the Year" by the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America. He may be the most heralded fighter Cloud has ever faced.

He fought for his first world title at middleweight in 1997 against Bernard Hopkins and will be making his 11th world title appearance of his career when he meets Cloud. He has proven again and again that he can win at any time, having squared off against the likes of the aforementioned Hopkins, Jones and Tarver as well as Thomas Ulrich, Clinton Woods (three times), and Chad Dawson (twice).

The common denominator with Johnson is that he always comes to fight, and fans tend to root for him for that reason and because he's an affable fellow. The problem for Johnson is Cloud will not be coming to make friends with him on Aug. 7. As always, Cloud will be coming in looking for a knockout-something that has only been accomplished once in Johnson's 65 professional appearances, by Bernard Hopkins in round 11 when they met in 1997.

Article posted on 11.06.2010



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