Kevin Cunningham, the trainer of IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander, said his fighter is eager to test Amir Khan if the former 140-pound titleholder elects to rise into the 147-pound division in December.
“We’re looking to check his chin,” said Cunningham. “We’re looking to give Amir Khan a good old chin-checking in the fall.”
Earlier this month, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer outlined big plans for Khan (28-3, 19 knockouts) that included potentially moving up in weight to challenge Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs), or facing the winner of a targeted Sept. 7 bout between unbeaten junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and RING No. 1-rated 140-pounder Lucas Matthysse.
Khan had also figured to be in the mix for a possible clash with RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pounder Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has agreed to face junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a Showtime Pay Per View-televised clash on Sept. 14.
Schaefer’s plan calls for Khan to return to the ring on Dec. 7, and Cunningham wants Alexander to be the man in the opposite corner.
“Since the Floyd fight ain’t happening for neither one of them, Devon or Khan, we might as well go on ahead and take care of the Khan business,” said Cunnnigham of Alexander, who is advised by Al Haymon.
“From what I understand, that’s the fight that Richard wants to make, and after talking with Al, and if it all makes sense, then Khan can get it. We’ll sit down with Al and Richard and see what they come up with.”
A former IBF and WBC junior welterweight beltholder, Alexander is coming off a seventh-round stoppage of Lee Purdy on May 18. Prior to facing Purdy, who was knocked out for the first time in his career, Alexander overcame Matthysse by split-decision as a junior welterweight in 2011, and both Marcos Maidana and Randall Bailey by one-sided decisions in 147-pound matchups last year.
Questions about Khan’s ability to take a punch, stemming from a first-round KO loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008, have continued to plague him, however. He was knocked out again by Garcia last year, and was floored by Diaz during their fight.
Alexander is out of action for “five to six weeks” with a broken left hand suffered during the Purdy fight.
“Devon will be ready to fight probably by October, and if that’s got to be pushed back … then so be it,” said Cunningham.
“We’ll just have to see what happens, but we’ll be ready to fight whoever in the fall. Amir Khan sounds good to us, and if he wants to get his chin checked at welterweight, then Devon will be the first to oblige him.”
BRAULIO SANTOS TO FIGHT DERRICK WILSON ON SATURDAY NIGHT
Sunrise Sports and Entertainment will feature Puerto Rican knockout artist Braulio Santos (10-0, 9 KOs) against Derrick Wilson (9-4-2, 3 KOs), of Fort Myers, Fla., in the second Golden Boy Boxing series at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday night.
Also on the card, junior middleweight Daquan Arnett (10-0, 6 KOs), of Winter Park, Fla., meets San Diego’s Miguel Zuniga (10-1, 7 KOs), and Houston middleweight Jermall Charlo (13-0, 9 KOs) takes on Luis Hernandez (22-5, 15 KOs), of Ecuador.
Also making appearances on the card are 2012 U.S. Olympian Errol Spence (5-0, 4 KOs) in a junior middleweight matchup with Mexico’s Guillermo Ibarra (11-3, 7 KOs), and Augusta, Ga., 154-pounder Justin DeLoach (2-0, 1 KO) against Florida’s Jonathan Olivera making his pro debut.
The event, to be televised on FOX Sports Net, FOX Deportes and Fuel TV, will also include a special guest appearance by former world champion Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns.
DIEGO MAGDALENO LOOKS TO REBOUND, SIGNS WITH FRANK ESPINOZA
Manager Frank Espinoza, who also handles three-division and WBC’s featherweight titleholder Abner Mares, has signed Diego Magdaleno (23-1, 9 KOs), of Las Vegas, in the wake of last month’s spit-decision loss to WBO junior lightweight titleholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez, in Macau, China.
“One of the biggest things that a person has to deal with over there in China is the change in time zones. We get there, and it’s almost a full day ahead of us, and we have to adjust to that. I don’t think that being over there the 10 days before the fight was enough time to acclimate myself to it,” said Magdaleno, 26.
“But like I’ve said, it was a learning experience. Next time, I’ll know to get there a little sooner. I’m not using that as an excuse, but it was difficult adjusting to the time difference. After I left China, adjusting back to Vegas time, I was just off for that whole month. It was a learning experience that only made me stronger, but now we’re ready to rock and roll and get back into the ring as soon as possible.”
Espinoza informed RingTV.com that he will look to hire trainer Joel Diaz, most known for guiding WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, as well as popular cut man Miguel Diaz in an effort to return Magdaleno to action under the Top Rank banner this summer.
“Miguel Diaz will be the cut man. Frankie, my son, who is the vice president of the Espinoza Boxing Club, will be working with me, too. He works with me on every aspect of the sport. Then, we’re going to look for a trainer. My preference is Joel Diaz. I think that he’s one of the best out there,” said Espinoza.
“We’d like to get him back into the ring in July or in August, and I think that’s the plan. I have to sit down with Top Rank and see what the plan is to bring Diego back. We’re going to all sit down with the team and get together with Diego and his dad and sit down and talk and see if we all make a great team. We’re really excited about him and we feel that he’s a very talented fighter and a future world champion.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org