By T.K. Stewart
Their 140-pound unification bout is still 30 days away, but those that have seen IBF titlist Juan Urango working out at his training camp at the Fight Factory in Tampa, Florida say that he is in amazing condition for his March 6 showdown versus WBC belt holder Devon Alexander.
“He’s ready to fight right now,” said one of the witnesses with intimate knowledge of Urango’s training sessions. “He looks like a middleweight, is punching like a wrecking ball and he really is something to watch.”
Urango, a 29-year-old southpaw, is a 2-time IBF junior welterweight titlist and he and the undefeated Alexander, who has a record of 19-0, 12 KOs, will meet at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.
A Cooper City, Florida resident, Urango originally hails from Colombia. He is a big puncher with a record of 22-2-1, 17 KOs. Once considered a limited brawler, Urango has added some nuance to his game in recent years.
“His fitness is unquestionable,” said the source. “The drills that he goes through and some of the workouts that I have seen him endure would make most fighters just wilt.”
One of drills that Urango routinely uses involves getting into the ring with four different training assistants. One of the assistants monitors the time clock and supervises the drill. Another wears a body protector, another a set of hand mitts and still another has boxing gloves on. Urango goes non-stop for a minute at a time with each assistant with no breaks in between.
“He’ll pound away on the guy wearing the body bag and he just unloads with brutal right hooks, left hands and uppercuts,” said the witness. “Then the head guy yells, ’Next!’ and the fellow with the mitts steps in and Urango fires quick shots at him for a minute. Then it’s ‘Next!’ again and a young guy wearing gloves comes in and shoots shots at Urango who tries to avoid all of the punches by moving his head and upper body. They do this over and over and over with no breaks. It really is brutal.”
In an eight year career, Urango has only lost to Ricky Hatton and Andre Berto. He last fought in August and scored an impressive knockout win over Randall Bailey.
Alexander, promoted by Don King, is one of the most promising young belt holders in the sport. The odds have recently been posted on the partial unification bout and the St. Louis, Miss. native, who many perceive to be untested and unproven, has been installed as the overwhelming betting favorite.