You maybe won’t believe this. But Devon Alexander is only 30 years old. The St. Louis hitter
debuted as a pro in 2004, so it sort of seems like he’s been around forever. So, when he lost to Amir Khan, in 2014, and then to Aaron Martinez, in October 2015, it made it easier for some fans to write him off.
He’s had his day, maybe he’s burnt out, time to move on, was the thought…
But in fact, the boxer was dealing with an issue that was sapping his resolve, was limiting his usefullness as an athlete. Alexander got addicted to painkillers after fighting Marcos Maidana, in 2012.
And now, his coach Kevin Cunningham tells us, the boxer is off the pills, and ready to fight with a clear head and resolute heart. A fight on July 29 against fellow vet Luis Collazo has been mentioned, and Cunningham told me he and Devon would be A-OK with that matchup. “It has been mentioned, it hasn’t been confirmed,” he told me. “Luis is coming off a good win, Devon has been through the whole process, the painkiller situation, and has been in the gym, looking sharp. He was sparring Amir Imam, looking real sharp. If he’s a good percent of his old self, he will be real good.”
Cunningham was in the dark, and didn’t know Devon was over using painkillers after surgery to remove a blood clot in his nose after he fought Maidana. “It got so bad, he had to come clean. He hid it from me almost three years. That shit had him feeling so good, he’d never experienced that! He did rehab, finished in December, and he’s been working his ass off. Now, if he can’t beat guy like Luis, who mind you still got a lot left, it’s time to find something else to do!”
In the same realm, of guys who need to get a W, to get back on track, we talked about Adrien Broner.
“Broner was in the gym with me a little bit ago, and I told him straight, this is the real deal, a fucking fight,” Cunningham said. “You got to go get your shit togther, I said. If he goes to camp and gets 100 percent it’s a tough fight for Mikey, but if Broner is BSing around and he doesn’t come all the way around, Mikey’s a tough little fighter. Mikey is nothing to play with.”
My take: Broner has something to prove. Alexander has something to prove. These times in men’s lives, it can lift them up and give them an extra boost. Or…
Well, no need to bring up the downside. Alexander has lost two in a row, Broner has lost two of his last eight fights and has been spending too much time in court, rather than the ring. These guys both need Ws.