By Terence Dooley
Colchester’s Lee Purdy, 20-3-1 (13), will not be able to win the IBF welterweight title even if produces a huge upset win over Devon Alexander, 24-1 (13), tonight due to his failure to make weight, but his promoter Eddie Hearn believes his 25-year-old charge is ready to shock the boxing world and won’t allow the occasion to get to him. Purdy meets Missouri-based IBF titlist at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall yet he will not get to contest the world title after missing the stipulated weight limit for the second fight in a row.
Purdy missed the weight by a single lb — he also failed to make the division limit against Cosme Rivera in March, he won the fight by ninth-round TKO — and was unable to get down to the 147lb limit at the second attempt yesterday, prompting Hearn to reveal that the final half lb had proved impossible to shift. Disappointingly, it means that Purdy cannot win the IBF title, but he will still give his all to try to hand his highly rated opponent a second professional defeat, according to his promoter.
“I’m over the moon for him for getting this fight, this is what it is all about,” said Hearn when speaking to BoxingScene about tonight’s fight, a conversation that took place prior to yesterday's weigh-in. “We’d met up the day before he got the fight to look at his next move and were struggling for a solution to get him something before the summer. It is a big job for him, but it is exciting and he won’t be overawed.”
Kell Brook was due to fight Alexander yet the Sheffield-based boxer was forced to withdraw from their ill-fated fight due to a foot injury. Hearn, though, believes that Brook will put a torrid few months behind him by impressing in a rematch with Carson Jones at Hull’s Craven Park Stadium in July.
“I spend a lot of time with him in Sheffield,” said Hearn as talk turned to his other welterweight contender. “We’re talking about someone who’s worked hard for a world title shot, spent a lot of money training as well, but hasn’t fought since October [a single round win over Hector David Saldivia] so he’s spending money on camps without getting a fight. He’ll fight July 13th in Hull then in September at the (Motorpoint) Arena.”
He added: “I said to him that he has to see this delay as a challenge, he’s got into position before so he’ll have to do it again, it will be interesting to see how he reacts.”
Luke Campbell will make his professional debut on the Hull card; his hometown fans will turn out in force to welcome the 2012 Olympian into the pro ranks. Hearn told me that Campbell’s first fight could be the highlight of a big night in Hull.
“We’d been talking to Luke for a while, we get on well, and he’s massive in Hull — we’ll have 15000 for his debut in Hull,” he said. “Luke’s a nice kid, a great role model and will be a great fighter.”
Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.