Lem Satterfield

Trainer explains Alexander’s ‘freak’ injury



IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander had just completed a splendid 10 rounds of sparring when he went to work the heavy bag, according to his trainer, Kevin Cunningham.

“It happened last week after Devon sparred,” said Cunningham of Alexander, who was prepping for his Showtime-televised clash with Englishman Kell Brook on Feb. 23.

“Devon sparred 10 rounds and looked sharp after he came out of the sparring. So after the sparring, he was hitting the heavy bag. Then he hit the heavy bag with a right hook, man, and he pulled off of that bag after throwing that right hook.”

Something wasn’t right.

“Devon said, ‘Man, I felt a sharp pain in my bicep muscle.'” said Cunningham. “So we just stopped working out and then I let him rest it for a while, but he said, ‘Man, this is a pain like nothing I’ve ever felt before.'”

As it turned out, Alexander (24-1, 13 knockouts) suffered a problem that has forced the postponement of his clash with Brooks (29-0, 19 KOs) that was slated for the Masonic Temple Theater in Detroit, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.

“We took him to the doctor, and a doctor looked at it, and we ordered an MRI the next day, and the MRI showed no tears, but a severely strained bicep muscle. So we got [the doctor] that works with a lot of the [St. Louis] Rams players,” said Cunningham.

“So the doctor is treating it, and we thought with no tears and just a strain that we could get some treatment. They’ve been treating it, and after the first treatment, Devon said that it was so sore and throbbing that he couldn’t even use it the next day in training. He came into the gym to train, and he didn’t even use that arm the whole day of training. He just used his left arm.”

“We made a decision that if he can’t use his arm, there’s no way that he can fight. I think that he’ll be ready in six to eight weeks.

“Devon is in tremendous shape, on weight and ready to go. It just a freak incident. The doctor said that we’re going to need to do this treatment for the next two to three weeks.”

Alexander, who is 25, is coming off October’s unanimous decision over hard-punching Randall Bailey, while Brook, who is 26, is coming off October’s third-round stoppage of Hector Saldivia.

Alexander-Brook was originally scheduled for Jan. 19 before Brook’s apparent ankle injury forced its postponement from that date.

Schaefer said that Alexander-Brook will be rescheduled at a site to be determined in the United States, and that the rest of the card “will go on.”

Alexander-Brook was to be complimented by an IBF junior middleweight title defense by Cornelius Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs) against veteran Ishe Smith (24-5, 11 KOs), which will become the headliner.

Smith has won three straight, two of them by knockout, since falling by unanimous decision to Fernando Guerrero, whom he floored in the eighth round of their clash in July of 2010.

Also to be featured on the card is an all-Michigan battle as Detroit prospect J’Leon Love (14-0, 8 KOs) takes on former titleholder Bronco McKart (54-10-1, 32 KOs), of Monroe, Mich.

McKart had won three straight prior to losing by seventh-round stoppage to Mundine in July.

Schaefer said that he plans to discuss the rescheduling of Alexander-Brook with Showtime “this week.”


Photo by Al Bello, Gettyimages

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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