By Jake Donovan
The second of three all-Haymon matchups on tonight’s monster card in Brooklyn pits Devon Alexander in his first defense of a welterweight belt, facing unbeaten Shawn Porter in their Showtime-televised supporting bout.
Neither fighter has done much to emerge as a viable candidate for the next entry in the Floyd Mayweather sweepstakes. Alexander (25-1, 14KO) was once rumored to be the opponent of choice for the pound-for-pound king’s ring return this past May, but that opportunity instead went to Robert Guerrero.
Alexander went on to face Lee Purdy in a bout which received far less fanfare. The night produced his first stoppage win in three years, but also suffered an injury to put him on the sidelines after an already forced delay in defending his title.
Purdy missed weight, making the bout a non-title affair, which means tonight’s encounter serves as the first official defense of the belt Alexander – a former 140 lb. titlist – won in uninspiring fashion, claiming a decision win over a reluctant Randall Bailey. The bout was part of the first-ever boxing show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Alexander proudly returns to defend his belt.
Porter (22-0-1, 14KO) is best-known as a former chief sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. His rèsumè isn’t quite as inspiring as his gym work, requiring two tries to convincingly get past faded former lightweight titlist Julio Diaz, scoring a 10-round points in their September rematch, nine months after the two fought to a draw in the final Showtime telecast of 2012.
Onward with the predictions of how the Boxingscene.com staff envisions tonight’s welterweight affair playing out.
PREDICTIONS – DEVON ALEXANDER vs. SHAWN PORTER
“Alexander squeaks out a win.”
- Damien Acevedo (Alexander SD)
“Porter is a good fighter but I think Alexander is better in just about every department and wins around the score of 117-111.”
- Ryan Burton (Alexander UD)
“Alexander by decision, in the least interesting fight on either network (Showtime/HBO) this evening.”
- Jake Donovan (Alexander UD)
“If Alexander wants to stay relevant for a big fight at 147, he’s got to overcome a young prospect with eyes on his status. It says here the champ will do so.”
- Lyle Fitzsimmons (Alexander by decision)
“In this tilt between speedsters, I think Devon Alexander has the slight edge in swift fists and ring savvy that comes from experience in title fights -- two traits that will serve as the winning margin in a close decision.”
- Ryan Maquinana (Alexander by decision)
“Good stay busy fight for Alexander as he awaits bigger future fights. He'll get some good work as he teaches the young challenger some lessons he's never seen in the ring.”
- Richard Najdowski (Alexander UD)
“Even if he struggles with accuracy, and he has in the past, Alexander appears too fluid and experienced for a Porter who tries hard but can be easy to hit.”
- Cliff Rold (Alexander by decision)
“Devon may not stop the power of Porter; we believe that if Shawn press in the first half he will stop him.”
- Reynaldo Sanchez (Porter TKO6)
“Devon is a better boxer than Shawn. A fighter, who has barely edged aging Julio Diaz over two fights, isn't one to deliver against such an outstanding stylist like Alexander.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Alexander UD)
Devon Alexander 8
Shawn Porter 1
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox