Before facing Bradley, Alexander struggled to a decision over former titleholder Andriy Kotelnik in August of 2009, and claimed that extreme weight loss contributed to sub-par efforts against Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthysse.
“I had picked Devon to win because I knew that it was gut-check time,” said Bradley. “I knew that by him moving up in weight, 140 had been a tough weight class for him to make because he’s a big kid. I was like, ‘he’s going to dominate this Marcos Maidana.’ You know, boxing isn’t always about strength. It’s about skills, and people don’t realize that.”
“I know that Devon is very hard to hit, and he’s got skills, and he’s a lefty at that. I knew that he was going to beat him, because you can pick up a marble and throw it into the ring and you’re going to hit Maidana, and Devon showed that last night, and he almost stopped him in the sixth round.”
Maidana was coming off a fourth-round knockout of Peter Petrov in September, his second straight win since losing to Khan, and, prior to that, was credited with a majority decision over Erik Morales in April that many believed Morales won.
In one of his most notable match ups, Maidana had been in the 2010 Fight Of The Year against Khan, during which Maidana rose from a first-round knockdown that resulted from a body blow and nearly stopped Khan in the 10th round.
“I just sit back and I’m like, ‘Khan struggled with Maidana,” said Bradley, “and Devon just demolished him.’ I mean, every round, he beat Maidana. Every single round.”
“Whether it’s at 147 or 140, it all boils down to skills, period. I think that at 140, he would have still beaten Maidana.”
Bradley said he was impressed with the fact that Alexander stayed in the pocket and mixed it up with Maidana rather than fighting Maidana in retreat.
“Devon didn’t panic when Maidana was attacking him. He stayed right there. He didn’t run around the ring. Devon stayed right there and he covered up and he stayed relaxed and he took the shots off the gloves, and he counter-punched. I was like, ‘look at Devon, man!’ I was laughing, man, because I got everybody,” said Bradley.
“Everybody was like, ‘Aw, man, Devon’s going to get knocked out.’ But I was like, ‘you’re crazy, because I know how hard it is to hit Devon.’ That’s one of the reasons that our fight was luckluster to some people, because it’s hard to hit me, and it’s hard to hit Devon, too. There was a lot of skill going on because it was hard for us to hit each other. We’re both somewhat elusive in the ring.”
Bradley was also impressed with Alexander’s ability to take a punch.
“Devon’s got a chin, but it’s not like Maidana has one-punch knockout power. He’s heavy-fisted, and that’s it. Maidana just has heavy hands,” said Bradley.
“So if you sit there and let him hit the same spot over and over, then there’s going to be damage. But I knew that Devon wasn’t going to be there for that.”