Lem Satterfield

Alexander to face Purdy on May 18



IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander will face Lee Purdy of the United Kingdom on May 18 on the Lamont PetersonLucas Matthysse card at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaeffer.

The IBF had designated Canadian Kevin Bizier (20-0, 14 knockouts) to face Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) after Alexander’s original opponent, Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KOs), pulled out because of an ankle injury.

But on Thursday, Bizier’s promoter, Yvon Michel, notified Schaefer that his fighter turned down the opportunity.

“I just finalized a deal with Lee Purdy to fight Devon Alexander. Purdy was the (IBF’s) next available mandatory, so Devon Alexander is going to fight Lee Purdy,” said Schaefer.

“… I’m excited about the fight, and we’ll see Devon back in action to take care of his mandatory obligation.”

Purdy (20-3-1, 13 KOs) has won his past four fights by stoppage, including a ninth- round KO of Cosme Rivera in March. His three losses were by decision to Peter McDonagh, Denton Vassell and Colin Lynes in December of 2008, April of 2010 and November of 2011, respectively.

Alexander appears to have fully recovered from the “freak” biceps injury that forced his bout with Brook to be postponed from Feb. 23. That bout was originally scheduled for Jan. 19 but was pushed back because of Brook’s ankle problems.

Alexander, a former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder, defeated hard-punching foes Marcos Maidana and Randall Bailey by one-sided decisions in 147-pound matchups last year.

“The bottom line is that all that we wanted to do was to respect the IBF rules, and whoever is next in line, that’s who we will fight. Devon is a true champion, and he’s willing to give a shot to whoever is next in line,” said Alexander’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham.

“If Purdy is the next guy in line, then no problem. We just want to get into the ring and live up to our commitment and defend against our mandatory. If Purdy is the next guy in line, then so be it. We’ll be ready for him on May 18.”

The card will be on Showtime.


Photo by Rich Kane, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

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

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