Marcos Maidana could be facing an uphill climb in more ways than one when he meets former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander in a welterweight clash at the Scottrade Center in Alexander’s hometown of St. Louis, Mo.
Not only will Maidana (31-2, 28 knockouts) be rising in weight, but he’ll also be meeting a man in Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) who is both a southpaw as well as a boxer-puncher — attributes that have caused problems for the Argentinian in the past.
“In essence, yes, I am better than him. It’s very simple with Marcos,” Matthysse told RingTV.com prior to the Alexander fight. “There’s no doubt that he’s a very big puncher. But his style of boxing is not classic. It’s ordinary.”
“Maybe he’s right. Maybe Matthysse is better than me,” said Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs). “But I will do my best, and I will try my best always.”
Going in with a record of 25-0, Maidana suffered the first loss of his career by split-decision to Andriy Kotelnik in February of 2009. His only other loss was a unanimous decision against Amir Khan in December of 2010, in which Maidana had to rise from a first-round knockdown.
Beyond those two losses, though, Maidana has notched some significant wins.
In June of 2009, following the Kotelnik fight, he fought back from three knockdowns to hammer Victor Ortiz into submission in the sixth, derailing the young junior welterweight’s upward momentum in front of an HBO audience.
In April, Maidana edged Erik Morales by majority decision in a bout that many believed Morales won.
Maidana knows and respects the skills of Alexander.
“Devon Alexander is a slick, skillful fast fighter,” said Maidana. “And on top of that, he’s a southpaw, which is usually complicated for us orthodox boxers.”
They share a common opponent in southpaw Demarcus Corley, against whom Alexander scored a unanimous decision victory in January of 2008, while Maidana did the same in August 2010 (Matthysee also faced Corley, knocking him out in the eighth round in early 2011), but Maidana insists that he will beat Alexander the only way he knows how.
“I will keep putting pressure on him, and sooner or later, I will catch him. And once I catch him, I will knock him down,” said Maidana.
“I don’t really like to give a kind of prediction. Because even though I’m sure that I’m going to knock him out, I’m sure that I’m going to have to work for it. I’m going to try my best to knock him out. But either on points or by knockout, I’m going to win.”
Alexander is ready for whatever Maidana brings, said his trainer, Kevin Cunningham.
“I think that first and foremost, this fight has Fight of The Year potential. What I see in Maidana is a guy that is relentless, fearless and he has good punching power. But, with that being said, he’s going up against a guy who is just as talented as any young fighter out there today,” said Cunningham.
“I don’t think that just being relentless and tough is going to win this fight. I think that Devon’s tough, but Devon’s got skill, ability, hand speed, quickness and he’s got a lot more attributes that that he’s equipped with as opposed to Maidana just being a crude, rugged, come-forward type of fighter.”