Former junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander is a promotional free agent who is looking to have his first fight in the welterweight division sometime in the fall.
Alexander debuted at No. 2 in the WBC’s recently released welterweight rankings, right behind the top-rated Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 knockouts) and division titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, KOs), who meet on HBO Pay Per View on Sept. 17.
Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) would like to face a top 10 opponent initially, but the 24-year-old St. Louis, Mo., resident wouldn’t turn down a shot at the Mayweather-Ortiz winner, his trainer Kevin Cunningham told RingTV.com.
“The ideal situation is to fight one of the guys in the top 10 as a debut, but Devon is No. 2 in the WBC welterweight rankings, so he’s sitting there right behind Floyd and Victor,” said Cunningham.
“So, who is going to turn down a chance to fight Floyd Mayweather? What fighter at 140 or 147 would turn down that opportunity? Nobody.”
Alexander has been mentioned as a potential rival to ex-junior welterweight beltholder Paulie Malignaggi, who is rated ninth as a welterweight by the WBC.
“First fight at welterweight, we would a like to face a guy with name recognition, like a Paulie Malignaggi, or a Matthew Hatton,” said Cunningham. “Somebody like that would be great.”
Alexander was promoted by Don King as the former titleholder of the WBC and IBF junior welterweight belts, but their contract has expired, making Alexander a promotional free agent.
That means that Alexander can be wooed by King as well as others, such as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. Arum and Schaefer have each expressed interest in promoting Alexander.
Schaefer, who also promotes WBA and IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) of England, could not be reached for comment.
“I think that he’s a very talented fighter. I have met him a couple of times at some of our fights,” said Schaefer. “Devon Alexander is a very polite and nice young man outside of the ring and he comes across very well. So he’s definitely a fighter which we would be interested in.”
Alexander’s fights routinely pack local arenas in his native St. Louis.
“I think that he’s highly marketable and he has a built-in fan base. Very few fighters can sell the amount of tickets that Devon Alexander can,” said Schaefer.
“I have not had any conversation with Alexander or his manager, Kevin Cunningham, but I definitely will, over the coming weeks, reach out to them and see if there is an interest in working together.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com