By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Devon Alexander wasn’t good enough to defeat Timothy Bradley, but Bradley believes Alexander will beat Marcos Maidana later tonight in St. Louis.
“Alexander is going to out-box Maidana,” said Bradley, who on June 9 will face Manny Pacquiao. “I know Maidana has the punching power. He could definitely close the gap on Alexander, but I think that from his last two fights [Alexander] has grown as a fighter and he’s going to be mentally prepared for the challenge ahead. So I’m going to pick Devon Alexander, the boxer. He’s going to out-box him.”
Bradley did commend Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) for willingly heading to Alexander’s hometown for this 10-round welterweight fight (HBO; 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Alexander has won questionable decisions in or near St. Louis in two of his last three fights, including a split decision victory over another Argentine power puncher, Lucas Matthysse, on June 25. Matthysse (30-2, 28 KOs) dropped Alexander in the fourth round of their 10-round junior welterweight bout in St. Charles, Mo., but still lost on two of three scorecards (96-93, 93-96 and 94-95).
Ukraine’s Andriy Kotelnyk (31-4-1, 13 KOs) also lost a unanimous decision to Alexander 18 months ago in St. Louis. That outcome drew criticism as well because Kotelnyk lost 116-112 on all three scorecards, though the fight appeared much closer than that.
Bradley was Alexander’s opponent after Kotelnyk, but the WBO junior welterweight champion wouldn’t fight him in St. Louis. Bradley beat Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) by technical decision a year ago at The Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich.
“Maidana’s just looking to beat the best,” Bradley said. “That’s all he’s doing. He’s willing to go to his hometown. I guess they paid him really well and he doesn’t have a problem fighting anybody, anywhere, anytime.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for the Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.