By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
LEE PURDY can go from unlicensed brawler to millionaire if he stuns Devon Alexander in Atlantic City tonight.
The unknown Colchester boxer is given little chance against the IBF welterweight champion in his shock world title challenge.
Promoters Golden Boy wanted the winner to defend against Amir Khan on December 7, meaning a massive payday. Because Purdy failed to make weight, a victory tonight would cause the title to become vacant. But Purdy would fight for the vacant belt with the upset win, and Khan could be in the other corner.
Purdy, 25, stepped in at four weeks’ notice after Kell Brook injured a foot and didn’t even ask how much he would earn.
Tonight he will pocket around £100,000 but promoter Eddie Hearn said: “It would be huge if Lee could win it – it’s a golden opportunity.
“There would be plenty of options and it would mean that we could do what we want.
“It would mean that Lee would have a mandatory defence and the prospect of a seven-figure payday against Kell Brook, Amir Khan, who knows?”
Purdy had just six amateur bouts at the age of 11 and took part in three underground contests in his late teens before being persuaded to turn professional.
The ex-British champion, who has won 20 of his 24 pro fights, said: “There are a lot of big fights for me when I become a world champion.
“If there was one fight I’d love it would be against Amir Khan. That would be a dream come true.”
Purdy has never boxed abroad before but fears that his chances of Stateside success will fade unless the referee stops his American opponent’s habit of holding.
He said: “I’ve watched him and he holds a lot. When he gets close to me of course he’s going to want to hold and I’m not going to stop punching until he lets go.
“America’s going to enjoy my style. I’ve come to fight for three minutes of every round.
“They’re going to expect me to put pressure on Devon and of course I’m not going to sit back.
“I’m going to put my heart and soul into this fight and come out victorious.”
Purdy is tough and may last the distance but Alexander, 26, should win clearly on points.
ROTHERHAM’S Neil Dawson is the man to beat in the latest Prizefighter cruiserweight war at York Hall in Bethnal Green tonight.
Dawson, 32, who has delayed a British title challenge to chase the £32,000 winner’s cheque, warned his seven rivals: “My fights are always wars.
“I like to get stuck in and fight so this suits me down to the ground.”