For a fighter who is 22-1 with 13 knockouts, there are a lot of questions surrounding St. Louis native Devon Alexander that he is looking to answer in Saturday night’s fight (HBO, 10 p.m. ET) with Marcos Maidana of Argentina.
Alexander is making his debut in the welterweight division and some wonder if he will be able to deal with the hard-punching Maidana’s power. In his last few outings, Alexander suffered his first loss to Timothy Bradley and won controversial decisions in front of his home crowd. With St. Louis as the backdrop once again, Alexander is looking to leave no doubt this time around.
"I was going to make a statement anyway regardless, because the rumor’s out that I didn’t look good my last few outings against Andriy Kotelnik, Lucas Matthysse, and Bradley, so I was aiming to make a statement regardless,” Alexander said. “Like I said, it’s my debut at 147, and I’m going to be ready to rock and roll. I’ve got my legs. I’m strong and fast."
Alexander and his trainer Kevin Cunningham say that not having to cut the extra weight down to 140 pounds, where he previously fought, has him feeling stronger than ever. They also say all the talk going into the fight about his opponent’s ability to throw hard shots is only serving as added motivation.
"Well, I hit hard, too,” Alexander said. “Everybody knows Maidana’s got power, but that’s not my concern. My concern is what I’m doing in the ring. That’s not an issue. I’m not concerned about that. We all know what he’s capable of doing, but I’m worrying about what I’m doing."
If Alexander wins, there are many options for him now that he is in the loaded 147-pound division. There is the potential rematch with Bradley, or even a mega fight with Manny Pacquiao — who Bradley faces in June — or Floyd Mayweather. To do that though, he must get past a tough obstacle in Maidana, but the motivation is there, the strength is there, and Alexander is ready to show that it hasn’t been home cooking that has helped him compile his impressive record.
"Well, I am, frankly, tired of all the speculation and all the suggestions that talks about me fighting in my hometown,” Alexander said. “But this fight, I’m not going to leave it in the judges’ hands. I’m going to win conventionally and I’m going to win by just keeping quiet about the whole situation. There’s not going to be a doubt in the judges’ mind, in the fans’ minds, or in Marcos’ mind; there’s not going to be a doubt that I wanted to fight. There’s no hometown favoritism or anything."