January 30, 2011 in Sports

Bradley wins unification bout when Alexander can’t open eye

WBC champion foiled by shut eye
Associated Press photo

Timothy Bradley celebrates his win over Devon Alexan- der in Saturday’s WBC/WBO unification title bout.
(Full-size photo)

PONTIAC, Mich. – Timothy Bradley moved a step closer toward a megafight that could make him a boxing superstar – though he might have to beat Devon Alexander again to get there.

Bradley defended his WBO 140-pound title and took Alexander’s WBC belt, winning a unanimous technical decision after the fight was stopped in the 10th round Saturday night at the Silverdome.

The ringside doctor ruled Alexander couldn’t keep his right eye open and halted the fight at 1:59 of the 10th after an accidental head-butt.

Alexander said: “I couldn’t see, so they had to stop the fight.”

Bradley (27-0) handed Alexander (21-1) his first loss in the biggest fight for each rising star.

“He’ll be a world champion again some day,” Bradley said.

Both fighters took a risk by taking a bout either could lose, but the payoff could be huge.

The 27-year-old Bradley took a step toward a possible fight with Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. down the road, but WBA super lightweight champion Amir Khan could be his next opponent.

Bradley’s camp said earlier in the week that it would welcome a fight with Khan, if the time was not right for a bout with Mayweather or Pacquiao.

“Khan is probably No. 1 on the list,” Bradley said. “The key name on the list down the road is Manny Pacquiao.”

HBO, though, has a rematch clause in the contract it could exercise to put Bradley back in the ring with the 23-year-old St. Louis southpaw.

“I want a rematch with Timmy Bradley,” Alexander said.

In a fight that had to be tough to score with each fighter throwing a flurry of punches, the judges all had Bradley ahead in the bout – 97-93, 96-95 and 98-93 – when it was suddenly halted because Alexander’s right eye was burning so much he couldn’t open it.

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