by David P. Greisman
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City - Devon Alexander needed an impressive performance, not only because he could have a fight with Amir Khan coming later in the year, but also because his and Khan’s names have been mentioned as possible opponents for a pay-per-view payday with Floyd Mayweather in the not-too-distant future.
He put forth just such a performance, getting a one-sided win — and a largely one-handed one — over Lee Purdy. Alexander laced together combinations of hooks and uppercuts for seven rounds, getting the victory after Purdy’s corner stopped the bout before the eighth round could begin.
Alexander said he hurt his left hand in the first round. Though he still threw it on occasion, it was his right hand that tore into Purdy. He would combine right hooks to the head with right hooks to the body, or reverse that combination, or follow hooks with right uppercuts. Sometimes he would lead with uppercuts and then follow with hooks, all of these shots effectively splitting or working their way around Purdy’s high guard.
Purdy’s corner had seen enough. His trainer said afterwards that Purdy had experienced trouble in the past with his nose, and he was concerned about the fighter taking any more punishment.
Purdy had come in as a late replacement for Alexander’s original opponent, Kell Brook, who suffered an injury in training camp. The short notice might have been one reason why Purdy had difficulty making the welterweight limit for this fight, coming in a pound over at first and then failing to drop down to 147, checking back in at 147.8.
It didn’t matter that Purdy wouldn’t have been able to win the belt that Alexander captured last year against Randall Bailey — Alexander wasn’t going to let him.
Alexander, 26, of St. Louis, improves to 25-1 with 14 KOs. Purdy, 25, of Colchester, Essex in the United Kingdom, falls to 20-4-1 with 13 KOs.