by David P. Greisman
The first headline had made the injury sound serious — a torn bicep, postponing Devon Alexander’s fight on Feb. 23 against Kell Brook.
The second headline also got people talking — Floyd Mayweather mentioned Alexander as a potential opponent for his May 4 pay-per-view.
Alexander’s injury wasn’t actually a tear, though it was still serious enough to put him on the sideline while it heals. And no one yet knows for certain whether Mayweather is actually looking to Alexander or if an expected bout with Robert Guerrero is still what will be coming.
Alexander spoke about both topics on Feb. 15, talking to BoxingScene.com while in Atlantic City, N.J., for that weekend’s HBO card featuring Adrien Broner.
BoxingScene.com: How’s the injury coming along right now?
Alexander: “The injury is coming good. Everything is good. I’ve been doing therapy for a few weeks now. Therapy’s going good. My arm is feeling much better. I think it’s going to be another week of therapy and then I’ll be back in the gym.”
BoxingScene.com: What happened to cause the injury?
Alexander: “I was training, I did 10 rounds of sparring that day, and then as I got on the bag, I felt a pop in my bicep. I definitely had to stop. I thought I had tore something. I went to the doctor and they said I sprained my right bicep. If it was torn, I’d have been out for a year or so.”
BoxingScene.com: Had you had injuries with that arm or with that bicep before?
Alexander: “I did not. Actually this came out of nowhere. The doctor said that this was just one of those things, you probably hit it the right way. I don’t know. They don’t know how it happened. I’m always stretching. I’m always loose. I don’t know what happened.”
BoxingScene.com: What’s the prognosis on healing? When do they expect it will be fully healed, and when can you resume sparring or training as you were before?
Alexander: “I’d say another week or so. I’m going to do some therapy, and then we continue to do work on it, stretching it out and go slowly with it. Once I’ve gotten comfortable throwing it, we can get back in there.”
BoxingScene.com: Are you doing another training right now? You don’t look like you’ve gained too much weight.
Alexander: “No, not at all. Not at all. When I got hurt, I was there, I was ready to rock and roll, I was down on weight and everything. I was good. I was good, but everything happens for a reason.”
BoxingScene.com: Is it dangerous to be recovering from an injury and come straight back to the same fight you would’ve had before it happened, as opposed to taking an easier fight?
Alexander: “Yes, of course, of course. The doctor told me you’re more susceptible to reinjuring it when you do injure it. That’s why you want to take precautions and make sure it heals right, doing the proper things to not make it go back to the way it was. Then we’d have to start back over.”
BoxingScene.com: But you’re coming back to the Kell Brook fight, right? It’s still the Brook fight that’s going to be next?
Alexander: “You know, um, we’ll see. We haven’t got a date yet. We’ve got the Mayweather thing going. We’re going to have to see. Everything is in the air right now. I’m not sure.”
BoxingScene.com: You just opened the door for the next topic. The Floyd Mayweather stuff came out of left field. Where did that come from?
Alexander: “Well, it was news to me like it was news to you guys. But we’re just going to have to see. Obviously Floyd thought I was a suitable opponent for May 4. If it’s possible, you know, we’ll see. I just don’t know right now. Everything is up in the air. But my obligation is with Kell Brook.”
BoxingScene.com: Had there been any negotiations or contact between your guys and Floyd’s guys prior to Floyd tweeting that about you?
Alexander: “I don’t want to say too much about that. But I don’t know: For him to put it out, obviously he sees me as a suitable opponent. I’m just going to let my manager and my adviser, Al Haymon, handle that. I’m just a fighter. I was happy to even get the call that he was looking at me for May 4.”
BoxingScene.com: There’s skepticism that people have out there in boxing. You go back decades ago and people still had skepticism about what happens in boxing. So when you come down with an injury, and all of a sudden your name comes up, people —
Alexander (cutting in): “Yeah, and everybody’s saying, ‘He faked it.’ It’s just a coincidence that it happened that way. I promise I did not fake it or anything. I know there’s a lot of people with conspiracies about what happened and all that, but trust me, it happened that way.”
BoxingScene.com: So if it’s Floyd Mayweather, how do you beat him?
Alexander: “Oh, man, how do I beat him? I use my skills. He uses his skills, and that’s how he get through his fights. I’m going to use my skills to beat him. I think I got the formula to beat Mayweather. And I’ll be ready if that fight was to happen.”
BoxingScene.com: And if it’s not Floyd Mayweather, how much of a comedown is it for you, mentally, to be going from potentially in the running for a Mayweather fight to going in against Kell Brook?
Alexander: “It’s certainly not a letdown. You know, like I said, everything happens for a reason. And so I’ll get my time. Even if it’s not this time, I’ll get my time. Everything happens for a reason. I just need to prove that I’m one of the best in boxing, and continue to keep working.”
BoxingScene.com: Anything else you want to say?
Alexander: “I’m excited to be back in the gym. I tell my fans and everybody that I’ll be OK. If I do fight Floyd Mayweather, it’s cool. If I fight Kell Brook, then it’ll be cool, too.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]