Trainer: Alexander Can 'Tune Up' Thurman After Beating Berto

By Keith Idec and Ryan Burton

If Devon Alexander can beat a former welterweight champion who’ll end a long layoff Saturday night, Alexander’s trainer wants his next fight to come against a current welterweight champion who’s been off even longer.

“Once Devon takes care of Berto, if I had to pick his next opponent I’d want it to be Keith Thurman,” Kevin Cunningham told “I’d like to get a shot at Keith Thurman. That would be the perfect fight for Devon.”

The date for Thurman’s return from a hand injury hasn’t been set. He has been training recently at trainer Dan Birmingham’s gym in St. Petersburg, Florida, but it isn’t clear how much longer Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) will need to get ready for his first fight since March 2017.


The Clearwater, Florida, native hasn’t fought since defeating Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) by split decision in their 12-round welterweight title unification fight nearly 17 months ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Thurman, 29, was supposed to come back from elbow surgery May 19, but his return was delayed because Thurman suffered a hand injury during training camp.

Thurman, who owns the WBA “super” welterweight title, apparently wants to face a low-profile opponent in what he has called a “get back” fight. Alexander doesn’t fit that description, but Cunningham hopes Thurman will fight him.

“After taking care of the Berto business, Devon will be ready to tune up Thurman’s ass next,” Cunningham said. “Since this dude’s looking for a f*cking tune-up.”

St. Louis’ Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs), a former IBF welterweight champ, will square off against Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs), an ex-WBC welterweight champ, in the main event of a FOX tripleheader Saturday night from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT).

Alexander is 1-0-1 since returning from an addiction to opioids that was largely responsible for his two-year layoff. He was widely viewed as the winner of a 12-round welterweight fight against Victor Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) that resulted in a dubious draw February 17 in El Paso, Texas.

Fighting Thurman would grant Alexander an opportunity to upset an unbeaten champion. Facing Alexander would afford Thurman a look at a southpaw as he builds toward a welterweight title unification fight against another left-hander, IBF champ Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs).

“Keith Thurman, he’s gonna need to get back in a groove,” Cunningham said, “and he has no plans on going right into a fight with one of the other champions. They’re talking about him fighting Errol Spence at some point. Errol Spence is a southpaw and Devon is a southpaw. I think they would wanna see a southpaw before they go in with Errol Spence, right?”

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Bronx2245 on 08-04-2018

That makes perfect sense! Fight a southpaw, before [B]"THE"[/B] southpaw! Two names come to mind: Pacquiao and Alexander! Alexander is much more likey, but Pacquiao would be a win-win! Thurman wins, and becomes much better prepared for Spence Jr., or…

Comment by Mammoth on 08-04-2018

He probably will.........

Comment by Butch.McRae on 08-04-2018

It's not a terrible idea...Keith will need the work

Comment by Southpawology on 08-04-2018

Please No. Berto end this dude tonight!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines De La Hoya Unloads on Mayweather: We Don't Hit Women! Photos: Kid Galahad, Toka Kahn Clary - Face To Face at Presser Photos: Rodriguez-Moloney, Dorticos-Masternak - Face To Face Photos: Katie Taylor, Cindy Serrano - Face To Face at Presser Photos: Tevin Farmer, James Tennyson - Face To Face at Presser Photos: Demetrius Andrade, Walter Kautondokwa - Face To Face Mayweather To 'Cheating' Canelo: I Make $300M in 1 Fight, Not 11! Agit Kabayel vs. Otto Wallin is Ordered By The EBU Hearn: Jacobs To Fight Canelo in May If He Beats Derevyanchenko Joseph Parker vs. Alexander Flores Set Down For December 15 Cheeseman: Byfield Does Not Deserve British Title Shot Arum: Crawford-Spence Fight Could Be Made in 3 Hours! Frank Warren: Buglioni Rejected Over 100K For Yarde Fight UK News: Tommy Langford, Savannah Marshall, Sunny Edwards Hughie Fury: After I Take Out Pulev, Fans Will Talk Me & Joshua Golovkin Undecided, Still Choosing a Television Outlet Hearn: Canelo-Fielding Probably Gets DAZN 1 Million Subscribers Arum: Golovkin is Best Middleweight, He Clearly Beat Canelo! Taylor Confident He'll Beat Martin, Then Baranchyk In WBSS Semis Daniel Dubois: I Want To Fight Gorman When Time is Right Ricky Burns Back, November 17 in Atlantic City Byfield Confident of Stopping Cheeseman in One-Sided Fight Canelo: Fielding Will Be Bigger, Stronger Than Me - This is a Risk Pacquiao Says Broner Fight is "90%" Likely To Push Through Canelo: If the People Want Third Golovkin Fight, We'll Make It Photos: Scott Quigg, Kid Galahad, Daniyar Yeleussinov - Workouts Photos: Katie Taylor Putting in Work For Serrano Defense Canelo To Mayweather: Stop Hurting Boxing - Fight Me! Photos: Tevin Farmer, James Tennyson - Putting in Work Photos: Demetrius Andrade Grinds For Kautondokwa Clash Photos: Jason Quigley, Freddy Hernandez - Ready For Battle Chocolatito, Cecilia Braekhus To Return on HBO, December 8 Photos: Rob Brant Showing Off His Moves at Top Rank Gym Photos: Ryota Murata Putting in Work For Rob Brant Video: Bob Arum Reacts To Canelo's Deal With DAZN Golovkin Promoter Will Be Ringside For Murata vs. Brant Clash Hearn on Canelo-DAZN: The Whole Game is About To Change Canelo-Fielding Contracts: Rehydration Clause, 2nd-Day Weigh-In Video: Rocky Fielding Discusses Showdown With Canelo Video: Canelo Talks Fielding Fight at 168, MSG, DAZN, More

Latest Active Forum Threads