By Keith Idec
Devon Alexander answered “absolutely” when asked if he thinks he can make Victor Ortiz quit Saturday night.
Alexander considers his mental strength to be one of his greatest advantages over Ortiz, who has been criticized for several unusual conclusions to his fights over the years. The southpaw from St. Louis doesn’t consider Ortiz finished, but plans to ruin Ortiz’s comeback when they meet in a 12-round welterweight fight FOX will air from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
“I think Victor Ortiz still has something left,” Alexander told BoxingScene.com. “He still has some heart left. I’m just gonna look to take it out of him. Whatever heart he’s got left, I’m gonna take it out of him.”
The 31-year-old Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs), of Ventura, California, hasn’t beaten a top welterweight since overcoming two knockdowns to out-point Andre Berto in their memorable battle for the WBC welterweight title in April 2011. Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) knocked him out in the fourth round of their rematch in April 2016, two bouts before he’ll battle Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs).
Alexander, also 31, will attempt to record his most noteworthy win in several years against the unpredictable yet powerful Ortiz. The former junior welterweight and welterweight champion will fight for the second time since finishing treatment for an opioid addiction he has openly discussed.
“He has had a weird career and a lot of ups and downs, and twists and turns,” Alexander said. “I’m looking to exploit that, too, because you’ve gotta be mentally strong in boxing. You’ve gotta be mentally there and if it’s not going your way, you can’t just mentally check out. If the guy’s getting the better of you, you have to go to the drawing board and come up with a plan B and a plan C.
“Victor Ortiz is gonna be a tough opponent, so he’s gonna come ready. My job is to follow my game plan, put some hurt on him, let him feel this power and do my job, do what I do best, and that’s win.”
Before broadcasting Alexander-Ortiz, FOX will air a 10-round super middleweight match that’ll send Caleb Plant (16-0, 10 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, against Mexico’s Rogelio Medina (38-8, 32 KOs). FOX’s telecast also will include a six-round bout between 2016 Olympian Karlos Balderas (3-0, 3 KOs), a lightweight from Santa Maria, California, and Mexico’s Jorge Rojas (4-2-1, 2 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.