Devon Alexander: My Opioid Addiction Kept Me Out of The Ring

By Keith Idec

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to Devon Alexander’s career in recent years, you don’t know the half of it.

The former junior welterweight and welterweight champion revealed in a story posted to the Premier Boxing Champions website Monday that his two-year layoff was caused in large part by an opioid addiction. As he prepares to return to the ring Tuesday night against Walter Castillo (FS1; 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT), Alexander is telling his story for the first time in hopes of helping other addicts get the help they need.

“I look back and say to myself, ‘Man, why did I do that to myself,’ so I’m just as shocked as everyone else when I look back at everything I did,” Alexander said. “Addiction is a real deal out there, and I’m open to tell my story, if it helps someone. The first thing that you have to admit is that you have a problem.

alexander-castillo-weights (2)

“It’s something that had to take a real scare for me to admit. When people are taking that stuff, they really don’t think that they can get over it. There is this attitude that they give up, that they really can’t kick the habit. I’m a living witness that you can. You have to want to, and you have to have something to look forward to. I’m fortunate enough that I had my family, friends and my boxing career.”

Alexander finally sought the help he needed after he was rushed to the hospital after taking prescription painkillers one night in October 2015. The St. Louis native began taking painkillers following surgery to remove a blood clot after his win against Marcos Maidana in February 2012 and a subsequent tonsillectomy.

“That was it for me, that scared me straight,” Alexander said of his visit to the emergency room. “My wife didn’t know what was going on. The ambulance [workers] asked what happened. They took me to the emergency room, and from there on I vowed to myself, ‘No way. This doesn’t happen again.’ Anything could have happened to me and I might not have woken up. That’s the way you have to think. It was a scary feeling.”

Now that he is mentally and physically healthy again, the 30-year-old Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) hopes beating Miami’s Castillo (26-4-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight in St. Petersburg, Florida, will help put him back in contention for a title shot. Alexander has lost back-to-back unanimous decisions to Amir Khan and Aron Martinez, and hasn’t fought since Martinez defeated him in October 2015.

“Opiate addiction is an epidemic out there and I’m a living witness that it is dangerous,” Alexander said. “And I want to be an example to people that you can shake the addiction. Personally, I thank God that I was able to overcome it. On Tuesday night, the old Devon Alexander will be back. This is just the beginning of my story. I have a lot bigger plans ahead.”

To read the entire story, click here:

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by PensionKiller on 01-10-2018

This mofo was telling people to stop going to Chinese shops because they don't give back to the community... well mofo at least they don't kill people from your community like people from your community do it..

Comment by Andre_parker1 on 01-10-2018

addictions could be really nasty man..glad to see him back

Comment by LA_2_Vegas on 11-21-2017

[QUOTE=PittyPat;18228310]Can he also get medical help to stop him from yelping like a woman, pittypatting with his jab, never using his straight left, and running out of ideas after a few rounds? [/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Beercules;18228358]I blame the Chinese people Devon.[/QUOTE] :lol1:…

Comment by Johnston on 11-21-2017

Good for him ,opiates are hard to kick. Takes awhile for your body to recover from it

Comment by Boxing lives on 11-21-2017

[QUOTE=McNulty;18228343]Not really. The insurance rates are through the roof from liability cases and doctors in most of the US are being heavily monitored. Licenses are getting pulled quickly. Liability suits are deafning and doctors are scared to prescribe because their…

Top Headlines
Carlos Morales-Mercito Gesta - Golden Boy Fight Nights, 11/13 Benavidez: Cocaine Ordeal Did More Good Than Bad For Me Hearn: Fury is Very Lucky, in Any Other Country Fight is Stopped Katie Taylor, Christina Linardatou - Face To Face Regis Prograis: I Really Cannot See How Taylor Can Beat Me Daniel Dubois Has Been Voted as "Best Young Boxer" Winner Joet Gonzalez: Shakur Stevenson Not Good Enough For My Sister! Hearn on Crawford-Brook: That's For Top Rank To Pay Tyson Fury-Otto Wallin: Afterthoughts Warren: Fury Won't Be Allowed To Exercise For At Least 2 Months Blane Hyland To Debut, September 28 In Newcastle Ryan Garcia Erupts After De La Hoya Tabs Ortiz as Best Prospect De La Hoya: Everybody Wants To Sabotage Our Canelo Relationship Shannon Briggs on Ruiz-Joshua 2, Training Logan Paul Tyson Fury's Still a Star, But He's Not The Heavyweight Champion Warren: If Fury is Not 100% - No Way Do I Let Him Face Wilder! Peter Quillin vs. Alfredo Angulo - Undercard Information Jose Pedraza Unsure of Next Career Move After Losing 140 Debut Wallin on Fury's Cut: If Anyone Else - They Probably Stop The Fight Inside Ryan Garcia and Golden Boy's Tumultuous Weekend Malik Hawkins Inks Promotional With Mayweather Promotions Petr Petrov is Back in Main Event Slot on Thompson Card Jimmy Kelly Jr. Inks Promotional Pact With Greg Cohen Hunter vs. Povetkin Clash In Works For Ruiz-Joshua II Undercard Taylor vs. Serrano At MSG Theater is Targeted By Hearn, DiBella Munguia: I Don't Know If This Is My Last Fight At 154 Pounds Terry Flanagan vs. Michael Ansah Set Down For October 11 Promoter: The Sky is Now The Limit for Otto Wallin British Boxing News: Conlan-Nikitin II, Natasha Jonas, More Lamont Roach Extends Pact With Golden Boy Promotions Alamo vs. Moran Kicks Off Telemundo Fall Season Parker, Should He Beat Chisora, Wants Rematch With Whyte Jarrell Miller Acknowledges ESPN Talks, Still Open To DAZN Return Crawford: Kavaliauskas Can Fight, No Matter What's Said Hearn: I Want To Thank Bob Arum For All The Publicity Tyson Fury's Cutman: That Was Worst Cut That I've Ever Seen Al Siesta Enters Russian Boxing with Troyanovskiy and KOntender Warren: Fury Won With Serious Injury, Does Not Affect His Standing Tetteh Feels Dubois Overlooking Him Like Joshua Did Ruiz Chavez Jr. Says a Deal To Fight Daniel Jacobs is 'Close' For 12/14
Latest Forum Threads