Alexander to move to Welterweight; Eyes Malignaggi
“That’s our last fight at 140,” Kevin Cunningham, Alexander’s manager and his trainer since he first began boxing as a young boy, told ESPN.com on Monday. “He’s killing himself so bad to make the weight. After six rounds, his legs aren’t there because he killed himself to make 140. He’s been making 140 pounds since he was 15 and an amateur. Now he’s a 24-year-old man.”
“Devon didn’t look strong in these last few fights by the mid-rounds,” Cunningham said, referencing Saturday’s fight plus Alexander’s first career loss in a title unification fight versus Timothy Bradley Jr. in January and his unanimous decision win against former titlist Andriy Kotelnik last August.
“Devon never used to weaken in these fights. He didn’t weaken in the (world title) fights with Junior Witter or (Juan) Urango. For those fights, he would get down to 146 and hit a wall at like 145 or 146. It took him a week and a half to get past 145, but he did it. For this fight with Matthysse, he got to 146 and he couldn’t get past it. It took a few weeks and he finally broke through, but it took a lot. A lot.
“I can’t keep putting my fighter at a disadvantage. He’s gotta move up. We’re taking off all this weight and there’s no fat, so he’s been taking off muscle.”
Cunningham already has an opponent in mind — former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi, who moved up in weight last year but is on the shelf recovering from a hand injury suffered in his last fight.
“Our first up at 147, we’d like to fight Malignaggi,” Cunningham said. “I think it would be a great fight. Paulie’s already talking s— about Devon, so there’s some bad blood already.”
Also, Alexander’s promotional contract with Don King expired following the fight, so before he returns to the ring, Cunningham said they will be listening to offers.
“The contract with King is over and we’re free to talk to whoever we want to talk to,” Cunningham said. “So we’ll take a little break and then sit down and see what happens. We’ll see what the best direction is for Devon to go in and then we’ll start talking to people.”