DETROIT Timothy Bradley defeated fellow American Devon Alexander by technical decision on Saturday to add the WBC super lightweight belt to his WBO junior welterweight title.
The scheduled 12-round contest went to the scorecards after it was halted in the 10th, with Alexander unable to continue following an accidental head-butt.
"I couldn't see," said the previously unbeaten Alexander, 21-1 (13 KOs). "I've never been head-butted like that. He's got a tough head."
The two men had earlier clashed heads in the third round, opening a cut over Alexander's right eye.
Although the contest had been much anticipated by boxing fans, it never exploded into life the way many had hoped.
Alexander attempted to control the contest from a distance, circling Bradley, 27-0 (11 KOs), and firing fast jabs and southpaw left hands.
The shorter Bradley stalked his opponent, walking him down and landing hard right hands to Alexander's head.
A Bradley right rocked Alexander in the third round, as did several others in the ninth. Bradley's flurries of hard punches saw him build a lead on all three judges' scorecards when the 10th round began.
Ultimately, it was Bradley's head that caused the most damage.
The newly unified champion was full of praise for his beaten opponent.
"Devon Alexander is a great fighter," said Bradley. "I tip my hat to him. He's going to be a world champion in the future." (Writing by Kieran Mulvaney in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Peter Rutherford; to query or comment on this story email