Alexander on the move: He jumps to Golden Boy in a jump up to welterweight
By Norm Frauenheim
LAS VEGAS – Devon Alexander introduced his intentions Friday and made them official Saturday morning with a formal announcement that he has left Don King for Golden Boy Promotions in a move that also signals a move up in weight, from 140 pounds to 147.
“One-forty-seven is where I’ll take over,’’ Alexander said at a news conference that included Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, his trainer Kevin Cunningham and manager Drexel Stith. “I know Richard will put me in a position to do what I’ve got to do at 147. That’s why I made this transition.’’
Alexander’s jump from King to Oscar De La Hoya’s company was evident Friday at the MGM Grand when he was introduced before the weigh-in for Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz fight, a Golden Boy promotion.
Schaefer said the negotiations were conducted over two to three weeks.
“It was very easy,’’ Schaefer said. “We wanted him to come to Golden Boy and they wanted to come to us.’’
The signing of Alexander adds further depth to the quality of Golden Boy’s fighters at junior-welter and welterweight. Schaefer said he would approach Showtime and Home Box Office next week about the possibility of staging tournaments at 140 and/or 147. There is a wide-range of possibilities at either weight, he said.
However, it will have to be at 147 for Alexander, who says he won’t fight again at 140. Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) lost a technical decision in January to Timothy Bradley and won a controversial split decision in June over Lucas Matthysse, has struggled to make the junior-welterweight limit.
Schaefer says the heavier weight could transform Alexander the way it did Ortiz against Andre Berto in a dramatic win that earned him the shot at Mayweather.
“Victor was more aggressive,’’ Schaefer said. “We are convinced Devon will make some noise in the 147-pound class and also become a world champion at 147.’’
There already has been some noise. More of it was heard Saturday several hours before opening bell for Mayweather-Ortiz. Welterweight Paulie Malignaggi, a Golden Boy fighter, sat in the back of the room. He and Alexander already have been involved in a trash-talk exchange via Twitter. It continued Saturday in person.
“I’m not a trash-talker,’’ Alexander said.
Malignaggi, who has never ignored a chance to talk, countered: “You started it. If you don’t want to trash-talk, let sleeping dogs lie.’’
But it sounded as if Alexander wanted to sidestep rhetoric that might be the prelude to an actual fight.
“I’m at the top of my game; he’s on the downslide,’’ Alexander said. “I want to fight the best. He’s not at the top of the division.’’
Alexander said he hopes to fight for the first time under the Golden Boy banner in either December or January. Schaefer mentioned Berto as one possibility. As Schaefer talked early Saturday, he could only wonder whether another one might emerge later that night.
“If Ortiz would lose, then that would be a possibility,’’ he said.