By Jake Donovan
Devon Alexander chose to move up to welterweight more than a year ago to avoid future struggles at the scales. While his body is thankful, his schedule has yet to reap the benefits.
The St. Louis-area product enters just his third fight since moving up in weight, as he faces Lee Purdy in a welterweight bout in Atlantic City this weekend. Alexander was previously scheduled to face unbeaten Kell Brook, only for the fight to suffer several postponements due to an assortment of injuries.
Getting Purdy to fill in was simple enough – both he and Brook fight under the same promotional banner, Matchroom Sport. What hasn’t been as simple is Alexander making his way to the ring, though that is scheduled to change for the better this weekend.
“‘Finally’ is the word! After six months I’m strong and ready to rock and roll,” Alexander said of his first scheduled fight of 2013.
Alexander and Brook were originally scheduled to clash in late January, and then rescheduled for February 23 and again for this weekend.
The series of injuries was an even worse ordeal than the strung out procedure endured in his arrival to the title stage. Alexander went through an exhausting round of negotiations with Randall Bailey before finally landing a fight that was scheduled for last September, but ultimately coming in mid-October.
Alexander won a lackluster decision, which he has been forced to sit on for seven months. Still, he’ll take a struggling win over no fight at all, and remains upbeat about his return to the ring given that the time off has allowed his body to fully heal.
“It was a rollercoaster with Kell Brook. It was frustrating but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” Alexander said. “Right after I injured my bicep, I started doing therapy. Now it’s ready to go.
“It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting on May 18. Kell Brook was the opponent, but had to pull out. Lee Purdy is a serviceable opponent.”
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