Missouri native Devon Alexander, "The Great", has won and lost several different welterweight championship boxing titles over the past decade-and-a-half.
During the past 15 years the St. Louis product has also traded leather with some of the best sub-150 pound pugilists on the planet. Most recently that meant just barely ending up on the wrong side of a split-decision draw against Andre Berto, 27-5-1, on Aug. 4 of last year. Prior to that he took a majority draw on Feb. 12, 2018, verse Victor Ortiz, 27-4-1, according to premeirboxingchampions.com.
Now, after, "(escaping) the streets of St. Louis through boxing, the former 147-pound champion is ready to make another run to the top". Specifically, the 32-year-old is returning to the ring with a record of 27-5-1 with 14 knockouts on June 1 at the Soboba Casino in San Jacincto, California, to fight Ivan Redkach. This 10-round bout will be the co-main event of the night in association with middleweight contenders Willie Monroe Jr. vs. Hugo Centeno Jr.
Fox Sports One will broadcast this event starting at 7 p.m. our time and because it's looking to make it a worthy fight-card top-to-bottom the show will start with heavyweights Rodney Hernandez vs Onoriode Ehwarieme.
The real show will come at the end of the broadcast and Alexander has his work cut out for him because this Ukranian may have fewer fights than him with a record of 22-4-1, but he has more knockouts, 17. Redkach is also taller, 5-8.5 compared to 5-10, and has a longer reach, 71 inches to 69. Working in Alexaander's favor is the fact he's a year younger and he's naturally much bigger.
As for the fact they're both southpaw's, that's an advantage Alexander and Redkach are used to having that now doesn't exist for either.
When I saw Alexander fight it was against Tim Bradley on Jan. 29, 2011, at the Pontiac Silverdome, which has since been imploded after slowly being allowed to slide into total disarray. They had to pull out the old curtain from the Detroit Pistons days to separate all the empty sections of this 80,000 seat venue in order to turn the place into a 9,000 seat stadium for the evening and it looked like it sounds.
The fight itself was actually incredibly indicative of, "The Great's", career up to that point. Bradley went on to make his name battling Manny Pacquiao from there. The fact the fight was stopped in the 10th of 12 rounds of this World Boxing Council Title bout because of a cut to Alexander's head was every bit as predictable as the post-fight speech his promoter at the time was about to give.
Don King's wife passed away in early Dec., of 2010, so prior to taking the podium he was in this tiny press room hunched over. No security. No help of any kind, really. Anyone could approach him and several people actually did. He was just so upset all anyone got was a slight nod and a bit of a handshake. Didn't matter what they said to him. Everyone got the same incredibly heartbroken response. Finally, King was escorted to the podium and he went into the same rhetoric we've all seen.
Unfortunately for him the microphones weren't working and Alexander had to be taken to the hospital. That meant King had to talk louder and longer. He did, but the longer he went the less sophisticated his jargon became. The myth became a man. There was no more mystery.
That's what's missing from Alexander's in-ring repertoire, mystery. Elusiveness. Now that Al Haymon is promoting him hopefully, "The Great", will start doing to the opposition what I saw life do to King that night, and what King did for three or four decades to fighters from Ali to Frazier to Holmes, and June 1 at the Soboba against Redkach sounds like a great time to start.