Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander have been on separate paths that were destined to cross at some point, and on the 29th January 2011, sparks will fly.
Desert Storm meets Alexander the Great. Both are undefeated, both want to prove they are the best in the division we, as fans, are almost guaranteed a great matchup.
With the annoyance of two great fights in boxing that should be made, not being made i.e. Haye vs. Klitschko and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, it is good to see that these two fighters are going to get it on.
The junior welterweight division is hot at the moment; the top ten guys in this weight division are all talented fighters, and it’s a three horse race for the number one spot.
Bradley and Alexander are only separated by Amir Khan at the top of the rankings. Naturally the winner would look for a fight with Khan further down the line.
Both fighters have been active in the run up to this fight, and both guys look to be at the top of their game. It is a rarity to have two undefeated, prime fighters in the same division with both claiming to be number one.
People first took notice of Bradley, 26-0 11 Ko’s, when he went over to the UK to fight Junior Witter for his WBC title. In Witter’s home town, Bradley dropped Witter in the sixth, with a lovely overhand right, before taking a split decision over 12, ending Witter’s 21 fight winning streak at the time.
After the Witter fight, he took on Edner Cherry as his first defence, beating him over 12 via unanimous decision. Then in an effort to add the WBO Junior Welterweight title, Bradley fought Kendall Holt. In an exciting fight, in which Bradley was dropped with a thunderous left hook in the first round, he managed to get to his feet, fight to the end and walk away with a unanimous decision.
In the early rounds of this fight, Holt, who can punch, walked Bradley onto a few hard shots and looked like he hurt Bradley. By the middle rounds, Bradley’s determination, fitness and work rate started giving him the lead, but he was caught and hurt in that fight.
He followed up that win with a no contest against Nate Campbell, a seasoned operator. An accidental head clash was the ruling, had the fight gone on further, Bradley who is just so busy, probably would of out hustled and outworked Campbell who is past his best now.
Bradley then handed prospect Lamont Peterson, who at the time was 27-0, his first loss and dropped him in the 3rd. And Luis Carlos Abregu who was 29-0 also suffered his first loss against Bradley, which brings us to his current standing.
Devon Alexander has had much the same in terms of recent fights. Alexander, 21-0 13 Ko’s, First came into the periphery after picking up the vacant WBC Continental Americas belt against Demarcus Corley. Corley is a veteran of the ring and a needed gate keeper in the sport, on his day he can be very dangerous.
Alexander handled him and walked away with the win from a unanimous decision. And after a few more tune-up fights he fought Junior Witter for the vacant WBC title (vacant as there were complications with Bradley and the WBC, which have now been straightened out).
This did not go the distance though, Witter retired at the end of round eight claiming a shoulder injury, that could of very well been the case, either way Alexander was up on all score cards by wide margins and was putting a whooping on Witter.
His most impressive fight was against Juan Urango. Urango is well renowned for his ability to take a punch, he is incredibly tough and whilst may not be the best technical fighter would give anyone troubles, simply because he doesn’t hurt easily.
Alexander took him apart, he was too fast and his timing was impeccable. He walked Urango onto so many hurtful shots, notably the uppercut. He put him down twice, on the second knockdown Urango failed to beat the ten count. No-one had ever done that to Urango, not even Andre Berto or Randall Bailey both big, big punchers.
After Urango, there was a defence against talented and well schooled Andreas Kotelnik, who gave Alexander a few problems. Not enough to say Kotelnik was robbed, but it was a close fight, as Alexander again took the unanimous decision.
Alexander couldn’t time Kotelnik the way he was timing Urango, mainly because Urango steamrolls in, whereas Kotelnik is better educated, quickly learned what would be coming back and tried to counter Alexander’s counter.
Both Bradley and Alexander have similar records, similar in terms of men faced and experience, both have excellent hand and foot speed and great engines to power them through every round.
Notably both fighters have the same mindset, the same resolve; they will not be beaten. They share huge amounts of drive and determination and are utter gym rats.
These factors alone will make for great watching, possibly an early fight of the year contender, on paper anyway. The victor will be decided on none of the traits they share though.
Will Alexander be too cute, too sharp and catch Bradley coming in? Even if he does, will it be enough to down Bradley and if so keep him there? Every time we have seen Bradley hurt, he manages to pop up and fight back with twice the aggression!
Bradley does fight with a certain relentlessness, almost jumping in (careful of the head, as is often the case) and banging away to the body, he will not allow himself to be tied up, he just bangs away at the ribs. Not a bad counterpuncher with a different kind of timing, often out jabbing guys with longer arms therefore possessing a longer reach.
There are many possibilities as to what will happen when that first bell rings, but my prediction is that whilst Alexander might take some of the early rounds, Bradley will not give him time to breathe in there and outwork him down the stretch.
Either way it looks set to be a great fight, and is great for boxing, whenever somebody's 0 has to go, it’s ten times as exciting.