Andre Berto and Peter Quillin made successful returns to the squared circle this past weekend. Their wins re-entered them into the new era of the boxing business, where the young guns are the official progenitors of the culture and the old heads are getting erased faster than a whiteboard in a We Work.
Former world champion Andre Berto (32-5, 24 KOs) won a back-and-forth fight by split decision Saturday night against fellow former champion Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs).
Andre Berto vs Devon Alexander Full Fight Highlights
"I knew he was going to be quick and I knew he'd come to fight," said Berto. "I had to get adjusted to his speed a little bit and then I started pressing him. I felt like I was in better shape and quicker to the target than he was."
Alexander struck first as his southpaw stance appeared to give Berto trouble early. Alexander connected with a series of powerful right hooks in round two before following up in round three with a straight right and follow-up hooks that led to a knockdown.
"We knew that we had enough power to hurt him and I felt like I was doing that early in the fight," said Alexander. "I slowed down in the middle of the fight, but there's no excuses. We both came to fight."
The bout saw numerous clashes and tie-ups, but as the rounds went on, Berto's relentlessness allowed him to score against a tiring Alexander. Berto had success in the seventh round, tagging Alexander on the inside as he began to break through his opponent's defense.
You know show them that live from the Nassau veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale New York the Premier Boxing Champion Co feature presents J Leon love and Peter quillin.
"I've been off for a while but I felt good in there," said Berto. "He was pulling back on a lot of his punches, so I stepped in for my combinations and made him pay."
The back-and-forth fight concluded with both fighters slugging it out until the final bell. The scores reflected the close nature of the bout, as one judge scored it 114-113 for Alexander, but was overruled by two judges scoring the bout 115-112 in favor of Berto.
"I thought I edged it out, but it was a close fight," said Alexander. "We're climbing back still. This happens. I'm going to talk to my team and see what the best move is going forward."
"This is a tremendous feeling," said Berto. "I'm looking forward to getting in there and doing it again."
In the co-main event, former middleweight world champion Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over J'Leon Love (24-2-1, 13 KOs) after 10 rounds of super middleweight action.
"It was very important for me to go up in there and break his spirit," said Quillin. "I established my will in there, but I'll wait to judge how I looked until I see the tape."
Quillin's power and punch output proved to be the difference as he focused on getting into range and delivering power punches to back Love up. With his promoter Floyd Mayweather sitting ringside, Love focused on a strategy that saw him move throughout the fight while trying to build his offense off of his jab.
"Sometimes you don't have your best night, but I'm far from done," said Love. "I have a lot of good fights left in front of me. I will be back. I could have pressed a little bit more, but he's a puncher. I wasn't trying to turn it into a brawl. I went at him and then slid right out. That was the game plan."
Round eight began with Quillin on the offensive as he pinned Love in the corner and unloaded a massive series of shots, many of which landed flush. Love was able to avoid any serious danger from the onslaught, but was never able to land anything that bothered Quillin over the remaining moments of the fight.
The judges scored the bout 99-91 and 98-92 twice, all in favor of Quillin.
"For people who think that I had ring rust, we've been in the gym training hard to be ready for a challenge like this," said Quillin. "We're going to build from this and use it from a foundation. Only time will tell what comes next, but we'll use this as a measuring stick."
In Atlantic City, the ghosts of Sergey Kovalev's past came home to roost as he was KO'd by someone other than Andre Ward. Unbeaten Eleider Alvarez stunned Kovalev, knocking the Russian champion down three times in the seventh round to capture the World Boxing Organization light heavyweight title.
Watch exclusive highlights from Eleider Alvarez's 7th-round TKO victory over Sergey Kovalev on Aug. 4, 2018. Subscribe to the HBO Boxing YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBOboxing HBO Boxing Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing Official Site: http://www.hbo.com/boxing HBO Sports on HBO GO® http://itsh.bo/ij8oqS.
Alvarez hit Kovalev with a powerful combination that sent him to the canvas for the final knockdown at 2:45 of the seventh round to give the Colombian his first world title. The 35-year-old Kovalev was trying to re-establish his dominance in the light heavyweight division in his first real boxing test since losing in back-to-back fights to Ward in November 2016 and June 2017.
Kovalev was the more aggressive of the two boxers and was winning the majority of the rounds heading into the seventh. But then he let his guard down. Alvarez seized the opportunity to land a barrage of heavy punches and went on to win the fight in one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Now that both Quillin and Berto are back in the win column, the game is better and also the competition level. Just ask Sergey Kovalev.