By Rick Reeno
Kevin Cunningham, manager and trainer of IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander (24-1, 13KOs), expects an industry shocker if a deal is finalized for his boxer to face WBC king Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26KOs) on May 4th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mayweather shook things up last Tuesday night, when he announced on his personal Twitter page that a deal was nearly complete for his May 4th return, and Alexander was the frontrunner to become his opponent.
"The negotiations for my fight are almost done," said Mayweather via the social media portals. "The front runner is IBF Champion Devon Alexander. It'd be a unification bout at welterweight."
Most insiders were expecting Mayweather to announce the heavily rumored fight with Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, who is the mandatory challenger under the WBC. Everyone was shocked when Alexander's name was mentioned as the likely candidate - especially given the fact that only a day earlier Alexander had withdrawn from a scheduled fight with Kell Brook due to injury.
The match would set up an interesting scenario, since Mayweather and Alexander are both represented by powerful adviser Al Haymon. Regardless of all that, Cunningham is only focused on one thing when it comes to a Mayweather fight - victory.
"History always repeats itself. In 1978, a fighter from St. Louis named Leon Spinks got the opportunity to fight the best fighter in the world, Muhammad Ali. Nobody gave Spinks a chance and we all saw what happened. Leon shocked the world and that is exactly what's going to happen if Devon gets the opportunity to fight Mayweather," Cunningham exclusively told BoxingScene.com.
On Wednesday, the IBF announced that their organization would not sanction the Mayweather fight as a unification - because there is a signed contract to fight Brook. Cunningham would not discuss the IBF's statements.
However, in terms of Alexander's recovery time for his injured right bicep - Cunningham indicates that his boxer will ready to fight by April - whether it's Mayweather, Brook or anyone else.
"Devon will be able to fight early April. He'll be ready to fight anybody - regardless of who it is," Cunningham said.