By Francisco Salazar
Alantez Fox is in a win-win situation.
Fox can continue to campaign as a middleweight, where he challenged for a world title belt. Or, because of his tall frame, he can move up in weight and fight at 168 pounds.
The 27-year-old Fox has a lot of options, but he must take care of business tonight when he squares off against fringe contender Nick Brinson in an eight-round bout at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC.
At Friday’s weigh-in, Fox weighed in at 163.2 pounds. Brinson weighed 163.8 pounds.
In his last bout on Sept. 22, Fox defeated former contender Elvin Ayala by decision over eight one-sided rounds. The fight took place at Bowie State University, not far from his home of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Fox (24-1-1, 11 knockouts) faced Demetrius Andrade in his previous fight on Oct. 21 of 2017, losing by unanimous decision over 12 rounds. Fox did score a knockdown of Andrade in rounds seven.
What was revealed after the fight was Fox fought with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. During the fight, he also tore a ligament in his right elbow.
“What people don’t realize is Alantez fought Andrade with one arm that night,” promoter Lou DiBella told Boxingscene earlier this week. “Alantez can fight. He had to have surgery after the fight to rebuild his arm.”
Fox will face a stern test tonight in Brinson, who has faced solid opposition thus far. Brinson (19-4-3, 9 KOs), who resides in Geneva, New York, has won three of his last four bouts, with the only loss coming to Ievgen Khrytov in a fight Brinson was winning into the eighth round.
DiBella believes Fox will put on an impressive performance on Saturday and compete against the best fighters at 160 or 168 pounds.
“Nick Brinson can fight, but I expect Alantez to do well,” said DiBella. “Alantez is a top-15 middleweight right now. He would certainly want another opportunity to fight any top middleweight.”
“It’s difficult to get Alantez fights because of the matchmaking. People in the know understand how good he is and he’s tall (Fox is 6’4”). He’s a good fighter. With his frame, it could certainly be easier for him to fight at 168 pounds. We’ll see after Saturday.”
In a 10-round bout, junior lightweight Tiara Brown (7-0, 5 KOs) will face Angel Gladney (10-14-1, 6 KOs). Brown lives and works in Washington, DC, where she is a police officer.
Junior welterweight Patrick Harris (15-0, 8 KOs) from nearby Hyattsville, Maryland will square off against veteran Anthony Woods (10-23, 3 KOs) of the Bahamas in an eight-round bout.
Cruiserweight Sam Crossed (8-0, 5 KOs), who has a significant following in the area and is known as ‘The Vanilla Gorilla,’ is scheduled to face Larry Pryor (10-20, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing