Alexander and Great Expectations
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Feb 22, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Goldenboy Promotions)
Devon Alexander
On the night of March 6th, 2010, Devon Alexander unified the IBF and WBC junior welterweight titles with a spectacular eighth round stoppage of the usually sturdy Juan Urango. At this point in time, the streaking Alexander was thought of as one of the sport’s brightest stars and destined for great things. Coming into this weekend’s bout versus Marcos Maidana at the Scottrade Center in St.Louis, he is a fighter who you could argue is on a three-bout losing streak and the shine is definitely off the native of “The Show-Me State.”
Yeah, Alexander has been anything but great, recently.
But as he embarks on this weekend’s contest under a new promotional banner (Golden Boy) and in a new weight class (welterweight), Alexander sees this as a new chapter in his career. An opportunity to begin anew as he hits his physical prime.
“Oh, definitely, a new beginning. I feel good; Golden Boy's treated me good so far,” Alexander told Maxboxing on Monday night. “New debut at 147, I'm excited. This is going to be my threshold at 147 so I'm excited.”
In his recent troubles against the likes of Andriy Kotelnik, Tim Bradley and Lucas Matthysse, he says that his struggles to make the junior welterweight limit adversely impacted his performances. “It's been kinda hard for me to make 140 for my last couple of fights and it affected me in my fights but no excuses, though. 147 is definitely going to be my weight. I'm going to come ready to rock and roll.” His trainer/manager, Kevin Cunningham, added, “Devon has been fighting at 140 since he was 16 years old. He's a full-fledged, 25 year old, grown man and he's matured mentally and physically and the body has just outgrown 140.”
Cunningham says he can feel the difference as they trained for this contest.

“Definitely, I feel lots of power. He's got his energy. Evidently, it's gotten outside of our gym and into the Maidana camp,” he said, irritated by the reports that the Maidana camp wants an extra set of drug tests done on Alexander for this fight. He isn't sure to be amused or angered by these accusations. “A little bit of both,” said Cunningham, “It pissed me off because they accused us. They sent an email to Tim Lueckenhoff, the Missouri commissioner, saying that there's rumors that Devon would be using PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). They couldn't prove where the rumors come from. They just said there were rumors. Yeah, they're rumors that you guys created. So [Maidana]'s supposed to be the big bad killer, the monster that's going to knock Devon out but he asking for drug tests.

“So I know what it is, the promoters want this fight and the networks and all that but I guess after really studying Devon and realizing what they've gotten themselves into, now they getting cold feet and they want drug testing. They want all judges from Argentina; I mean, they complaining about the judges. Now, two weeks before the fight, they jump up and want to implement drug testing. Have you heard of anything like this before? I mean, if you want drug testing implemented, you negotiate that in the terms of the agreement of the fight. You don't just jump up two weeks before the fight, ‘Oh, oh, I think we want to have drug testing now! There's rumors he might be using.’ Have you ever heard of Devon Alexander with any kind of PEDs or anything like that? It's bullsh*t, man.”
Alexander has gotten a chuckle out of all this.
“I was very shocked. My coach came to the gym and told me about it. I was laughing at first but he was serious. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I don't know where that came from. That came from left field and I didn't know what was going on. So I don't know; I'm baffled, myself,” he said.
(Maxboxing’s attempts to reach Lueckenhoff for this story were unsuccessful.)
What's ironic about all this is that in his last three outings, Alexander has looked like anything but a boxer on “the juice.” Many believe he got hometown gifts against Kotelnik and Matthysse and he was rather impotent in his showdown with Bradley (which ended up being one of the great letdowns of 2011 at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan). If you wanted to accuse someone of getting help, this was not the guy. In fact, he was a huge disappointment in contrast of his startling stoppage of the Colombian. Perhaps the manner in which Alexander starched him did him a bit of a disservice because it gave off the impression that he was something he really wasn't.
Much like the way Michael Nunn's stunning knockout of Sumbu Kalambay in 1989 ramped up the pundits’ expectations (which he quickly failed to live up to), Alexander might have been a victim of the aberration that was the Urango fight. When asked about this, Alexander says, “Yeah, people got high expectations since I've been a professional. People expect more of me, even me; I expect more. My trainer expects more and people don't expect me to go out there and lose. They want me to be the best and that's what's going on right now. People expect me to be one of the best in the division. People expect me to be one of the best in the world and they had me as ‘The Next Big Thing.’ So I gotta show ‘em they was right. They wasn't wrong.”
From being “The Next Big Thing,” he's now thought of as a guy who gets more favorable calls in his hometown than the Cardinals. To others, he’s the guy who quit in his biggest bout. The boxing world can be as fickle as they come. At times, the criticism has been scathing.
“You see it but you can't focus on that,” said Cunningham who, in the past, would have been enraged by such talk. “I mean, where I come from, people gonna say negative things, no matter [if] you look good. When we knocked out Juan Urango, [Alexander] knocked him out cold, off his feet. They said he was getting hit a lot in that fight. The Junior Witter fight, [Alexander] stopped him when no one else did and he wasn't ‘impressive’ in that fight, a lot of people said. So I mean, I don't worry about what the critics say. I don't worry about that; we worry about the task at hand.”
But everyone loves a winner and a definitive win versus the hard-hitting Argentine and the Alexander bandwagon will quickly fill up once again. This is his chance to reestablish himself as a legitimate blue-chip talent.

“Definitely, it's going to get that buzz back, I feel, winning this fight. It's definitely going to bring back the attention to me and why I'm one of the best in boxing. It's actually going to bring back that love and that support I had in the boxing world,” said Alexander, who has a record of 22-1 with 13 knockouts. “You've got to box and punch him. You've got to put some hurt on him to let him know, ‘You got the wrong man tonight.’ You got to make him second-guess himself before coming in there, so you just gotta be smart. Me and my coach got a perfect game plan and we just ready to rock and roll and execute it Saturday night.”
Cunningham states with confidence, “He's going to take Maidana to school. He's going to box him. He's going to beat him up. He's going to all-around take him to school.”
So could Alexander comprehend that slugger Albert Pujols left the Cardinals to join the Los Angeles Angels?

“I mean, I couldn't believe it but I definitely understand. He's one of the best in baseball and some of the best baseball players are getting paid 200-something-million dollars. He was getting low-balled, so I kinda understand it in some instance. But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. That's how I look at it.”
Hey, if Alexander can leave Don King, why couldn't Pujols leave the Red Birds; right?
“Yeah, definitely,” agreed Alexander, with a laugh.
It hasn't been officially announced but attempts are being made to move the rematch between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz from June 30th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to June 23rd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I like this move. Bottom line, this rematch dies in the desert. In Los Angeles, it has a fighting chance at the box-office.
I was also told at the press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, officially announcing the June 9th contest between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley on Tuesday afternoon, that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s next bout could be moved from June 2nd to June 16th (which seems to make sense, given that it could then be paired with the rebroadcast of Pacquiao-Bradley on HBO). Bob Arum tells me that he'd like to stage Chavez's next bout in Southern California at either the Home Depot Center soccer stadium or the Staples Center (It's very doubtful the Staples Center hosts boxing on back-to-back weekends and I'm told that the HDC has a Chivas soccer game scheduled for the 16th of June). 
Luckily, there's still plenty of time to sort all that stuff out.
Besides, if all the venues around L.A. are booked, I'm sure Dickie Cole and Texas would welcome Chavez Jr. back with open arms.
OK, for those of you who care, here is the official ticket release for the Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight, taking place on May 5th:
Los Angeles (February 21, 2012)... Tickets for Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. Miguel "Junito" Cotto, 2012's biggest night of boxing, go on sale next Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. The WBA Super Welterweight World Championship between the undefeated Seven-Time, Five-Division World Champion Mayweather and Three-Division World Champion Cotto will take place Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The 12-round contest for Cotto's WBA Super Welterweight World title is presented by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Tickets will be priced at $1,500, $1,250, $600, $300 and $200, not including applicable service charges, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person. Ticket sales will be limited to 10 per person at the $1,500, $1,250, $600 and $300 price levels with a ticket limit of two (2) per person at the $200 price level. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at or


Right now, according to Arum, the plan is to have Nonito Donaire return in mid-July on a pay-per-view he will co-headline with Juan Manuel Marquez at Cowboys Stadium. HBO basically will feature the “Filipino Flash” twice in 2012, so the thinking is to stagger these appearances and make the bout with Jorge Arce for the fall...HBO Pay-Per-View will be broadcasting and distributing Pacquiao-Bradley...Ticket info for Alexander-Maidana (which has a nice looking co-feature of Adrien Broner-Eloy Perez):
 Tickets, priced at $252.50, $127.50, $77.50, $52.50 and $27.50 are available for purchase at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster service charges and handling fees apply to all tickets purchased through Ticketmaster outlets, by phone or online. For disabled seating, call 314-622-5420...Also on that card in “The Loo” are Sharif Bogere, Eddie Gomez, Keith Thurman and Chris Pearson...Big pickup for Notre Dame with the late signing of Davonte Neal, who will be screamed at by Brian Kelly in South Bend for the next few years...So are Chris Brown and Rihanna are really back together? Oh, those crazy kids...Can't lie, “Doomsday Preppers” on NAT GEO is a show I can't get enough of- but I'll admit, I wouldn't want to live in any doomsday scenario...

More of Steve's recent work below his contact info...
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