By Brian Grammer
Photos: Bob Barton/BobBartonPhotography.com
Devon Alexander, the former WBC and IBF jr welterweight champion, is always ready for challenges. Whether the fighter is preparing for his title challenge this Saturday against IBF welterweight champion Randall Bailey or indulging himself in preparation for a career in boxing promotion, the fighter is constantly preparing for a challenge. The sparkling new Barclays Center in Brooklyn will house the battle featuring the 25-year old classic boxer/puncher Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) against the 38-year old one-punch knockout artist Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs).
The contest, originally scheduled for September 8th, was postponed due to a back injury that Bailey suffered in training just a couple of weeks prior to the showdown.
“I’m not sure what to think about that,” stated Alexander. “I can’t say for sure that he didn’t (suffer an injury), but he is getting up there in age.”
On the other side of the ring, “Alexander the Great” is known in boxing circles as being meticulously prepared by his manager/trainer Kevin Cunningham but a couple of years ago the challenge of cutting weight to make the jr welterweight limit became more and more difficult, although Alexander always met the challenge.
Alexander explained that he became fatigued and drawn out due to cutting muscle mass as he closed in at the 140-pound maximum.
This will be his second fight at 147-pounds. In first contest at welterweight back in February, he easily handled former jr welterweight champion Marcos Maidana winning almost every round on all three scorecards.
When asked how the training regimen has changed since becoming a welterweight, Alexander said, “I am able to do a lot more strength training now and my energy level is much higher.”
Some critics have complained of “home cooking” during Alexander’s recent wins over jr welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse (June 2011) and Andriy Kotelnyk (August 2010).
Alexander is blunt with answering his critics: “I know a lot of people think that I got home cooking in those wins. What they don’t look at is my work rate. I throw way more punches than my opponents because I am busier and faster.”
Alexander’s biggest proof that his is “Alexander the Great” is that he won both of his world championships on-the-road.
Alexander won his first world title – the vacant WBC jr welterweight crown – against former champion Junior Witter on August 1, 2009 at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA.
In his next fight on March 6, 2010, he added the IBF title by knocking down then-champion Juan Urango twice to force a TKO stoppage at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Alexander has accomplished much during his nine years as pro but he is already preparing for those days when he does not climb between the ropes.
He recently started his own promotion firm “The Great Promotions” and is co-promoting Saturday’s card along with Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.
“I’ve thought about it (life after boxing) a lot. God does everything for a reason so who knows what’s next. I’m definitely interested in a lot of different things, like promoting.”
But a moment later, the emerging promoter who grew up in the tough surroundings of the rough North County neighborhood of St. Louis had a reality check and became the intense fighter he will be this Saturday: “Right now, I am just trying to make a name and make a big splash in the world of boxing.”
World championship boxing returns to Brooklyn for the first time since 1931 at the new Barclays Center this Saturday. The historic card is headlined by the rematch between unified jr welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia against future Hall of Famer Erik “El Terrible” Morales.
The IBF welterweight title bout between champion Randall Bailey and top contender Devon Alexander is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with The Great Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.
The Bailey vs. Alexander championship contest will be part of an unprecedented four-title-fight telecast on SHOWTIME.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 8p ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
And if you live in the New York City area, tickets are still available at the Barclays Center box office and all Ticketmaster outlets (including online).