By Rick Reeno
Kevin Cunningham, trainer of IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander (24-1, 13KOs), told BoxingScene.com that he was scratching his head after reading the recent comments from Ken Porter, the father/trainer of undefeated contender Shawn Porter (20-0-1, 14KOs).
Alexander was scheduled to fight mandatory challenger Kell Brook on May 18th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Brook withdrew a few days ago with a foot injury. Porter is also scheduled to see action on the same card, against Phil Lo Greco.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer previously told BoxingScene.com that Porter was one of the names his company was considering to replace Brook - but everything appears to be coming down to the IBF's approval.
According to Ken, his son fought Alexander when they were young amateurs, but they were hoodwinked by Cunningham.
"We owe Devon an ass-whooping - because when Shawn was eight-years-old, Kevin lied to me and said Devon was eight, and he was [actually] ten, and they fought and Devon beat us. I have never gotten over that and I don't think Shawn has either. You don't do that to an eight year old, put him in there with someone who is ten and lie about their age. We owe him an ass-whooping, let's get it on," Ken told BoxingScene.com.
Cunningham says the story is partially true. He says Devon did a number on Porter in the amateurs, but he disputes Ken's story about the age difference because both boxers were born in 1987, although Devon already turned 26 in February and Shawn turns 26 in October.
There is no issue in facing Porter - if the IBF approves the match as a mandatory defense. Cunningham does not want Porter, or any other opponent, to be approved as a voluntary because the sanctioning body could come back in the fall and force a new mandatory on Alexander - which in turn could cause issues if a big fight comes knocking on his door.
"First of all, I don't have a problem with fighters calling out the champion and wanting a shot at the title. That's what contenders are suppossed to do, but where I come from if you have a personal problem with someone, then you step to them like a man and address it. Everytime I see Kenny he is smiling and talking like we are cool, but he tells BoxingScene that he's had a problem with me for almost 20 years. This man said he has problem with me because Devon whooped Shawn's ass when they were kids, but he forgot to say that Devon's brother whooped Shawn's brother's ass that same night too," Cunningham told BoxingScene.com.
"Then he makes up this lame ass lie about Devon's age. How could Devon be ten and Shawn was eight when they were both born in 1987? I hope he trains his son better than he did then. But the bottom line is this, we are obligated to do our mandatory. If the IBF approves Porter as the mandatory, then Shawn can get his ass kicked again."
It should be noted that both Alexander and Porter are advised by Al Haymon.