Whether or not it's true, they say good things come to those who wait.
Last weekend it was finally time for Missouri native Devon Alexander, "The Great", to take the ring for his first bout under the tutelage of new trainer, fellow former multi-time World-Champion and recently retired longtime Main-Event fighter Roy Jones Jr. against Ivan Redkach.
The pre-fight special that aired on FOX SPORTS showed how Alexander moved his base of operations from his comfort zone to Jones' compound in rural south Florida. The facility itself had everything necessary for what was going on and there were several other boxers on-hand for what was assumed to be eventual sparring. What they showed was Alexander working with Jones on various drills and techniques and there was only so much time to tell this half of a two-sided story.
The chickens and dogs that wandered in to this open-air structure whenever they felt like it were just a bonus that Jones listed as examples of how and why his fighters were going to be, "ready for anything."
After Redkach told his tale, which featured a rather plain guy being humble about his modest success, that storyline continued into this previews final segment, which was a face-to-face Shootout at High Noon-style conversation featuring a barely-there table between them and an often instigating mediator. Alexander kept getting closer, looking his opponent deeper in the eyes. On and on he went telling Redkach about what he wasn't going to do. In return the Lithuanian barely responded through his translator.
Until the very end, that is. That's when this European sleep-aid went from bedtime story to slow-growing nightmare. His hesitancy slipped away like Kevin Spacey's limp a the end of Usual Suspects. Apparently the translator found a way to keep up because Redkach just started listing off Alexander's fights. He told St. Louis's finest exactly what he did wrong and why he wasn't going to be able to make those same mistakes come fight night. Now it was Alexander who could only respond by saying, "No."
Finally, Saturday, June 1, 2019, came and the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, CA., was alive and ready to watch these two square off at 147 lbs. under the banner of Premier Boxing Champions and broadcast live on FOX SPORTS ONE.
What nobody knew on-hand, but became far too obvious to everyone trying to watch from home was that the Pittsburgh Pirates vs Milwaukee Brewers game that had been airing prior to this bout went to extra-innings tied at 10-10. That forced the network to move the fight to FOX SPORTS TWO, as well as paid platform, so when the contest ended up taking 13 innings to decide that eliminated the idea of being able to view the initial broadcast. Also, Brewers won 12-10.
The fight did air again the next day, June 2, and it was anti-climactic. Alexander simply wasn't what he once was. There was a time when, while no disrespect to Redkach, this was a fight he could have won. Those were flurries he could have endured. Instead, "The Great" hit the canvas three times in the sixth round from a combination of head and body shots that featured a well-peppered mixed of jabs and hooks. Alexander made Redkach look better than he is and the end result was a KO loss in the sixth.
Selling a fight is incredibly important. It's the job of all involved and it's rarely done without some sense of personal style and self-expression. No one will ever deny that, especially in a less than perfect economy. Nothing beats hard work, though.