By John Angus MacDonald
On Monday it was announced that IBF welterweight titlist Devon Alexander hadwithdrawn from his mandatory defence against Kell Brook, scheduled for February 23rd, due to a right bicep injury. Since then, speculation has been rife that Alexander is in-line to face Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 4th, which Mayweather confirmed through his twitter account on Tuesday night.
Kell Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn spoke to BoxingScene to give his opinion on the news. “I spoke to [Richard] Schaefer yesterday, he said he was meeting with Devon Alexander and Al Haymon yesterday afternoon and it all went very quiet since,” said Hearn.
“It could just be Floyd trying to gain leverage against [Robert] Guerrero or [Saul] Alvarez, I just don’t know. We’re in a good position really to be honest with you. I spoke to Kell this morning, he’s frustrated and wants to know what happened, but we’ve got a signed contract and we’re the mandatory challenger.”
Mayweather had stated that the proposed bout with Alexander would be a unification bout, but if the fight does go ahead Hearn is determined to do everything in his power to ensure Alexander’s IBF strap won’t be on the line.
“They can ask for and exemption from the IBF and some people are saying that it’s similar to the Adonis Stevenson thing, it’s nothing like the Adonis Stevenson thing!” he said. “We never signed a contract with Adonis Stevenson [to face Carl Froch]. We’ve got a signed contract to face Devon Alexander, the IBF have got those contracts, it would be virtually impossible for them to get an exemption, especially since we’ve got a good relationship with the IBF.
“I’m not saying Golden Boy aren’t powerful because of course they are, but even if they [the IBF] were to grant an exemption what they would do is, which they even did with us with Carl Froch, is to insist that the fight takes places within 90 days of their last bout, which was October the 20th [when Alexander out-pointed Randal Bailey]. So you’re looking at the end of March/April, which just isn’t going to happen”
EDITOR'S NOTE: IBF has already rejected the idea of approving an Alexander-Mayweather unification.
Hearn, ever the optimist, is looking at the positives. He said: “We’re in a good position, everyone is talking about Floyd Mayweather and Kell Brook in the same sentence. I’m going to speak to [Richard] Schaefer and I might even look to get Kell out on our Wembley card on March 9th, even if it’s in a ten rounder or something, because he needs to fight. He’s had this long camp and he has a lot of aggression he needs to get out of him”
Hearn was also keen to stress that this situation could have a detrimental effect on Golden Boy’s planned expansion into the British market.
“They are under a little bit of pressure because they want to start promoting in the UK and they can’t really be seen to be stitching up a UK fighter. Whether they give a sh*t about that or not, they should because it could work out adversely for them, but we’ll see.”
Finally Hearn discussed what he sees as the only possible outcomes of the situation.
“Again, we’re in a nice position, really,” he stated. “Three things could happen, one: they try and pay us off, which we’re not really interested in. Two: they try and stitch us completely and go for the exemption which will be really difficult and we’ll really, really fight it or three: they give up the belt and we’re fine with that, we’ll just fight the next available challenger for the vacant title.”