Devon Alexander Beats Marcos Maidana, What's Next for Him?
Alexander (23-1, 13 KO) had an unfortunate three-fight run marred by controversial hometown decisions and a bad loss to Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KO).
His victory over Maidana (31-3, 28 KO) allowed Alexander to put on a boxing clinic that redeems him. Now Alexander must progress further to fulfill the promise of his earlier career.
At 25 years old, Alexander's future is still bright as the welterweight division heats up with infinite possibilities for the former junior welterweight (140 lbs) world champ. Here's a look at what's next.
Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto II Winner
Victor Ortiz faces Ander Berto in a June 23 rematch of their Fight of the Year match from last year. Ortiz won a hard-fought yet dominant unanimous decision that including two knockdowns from each fighter.
Alexander is currently ranked No. 2 in the WBC's rankings. The victory over Maidana could raise him higher. Regardless, Ortiz or Berto would love to face Alexander to get them closer to Mayweather.
Golden Boy promotes Alexander and Ortiz so that will be an automatic action-fight to make should Ortiz defeat Berto again. If Berto wins, it may be a bit harder to lure Berto into a fight with Alexander.
With enough money on the table, Alexander-Berto could happen in early fall or late summer and most likely in St. Louis.
Timothy Bradley gave Alexander his only loss in his career thus far. How nice would it be to avenge that loss? Bradley's next opponent is the pound-for-pound best in the world Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO).
Losing to Pacquiao is very possible and the best way to entice a fighter into giving a rematch to a loser is for the reluctant fighter to suffer a big loss.
Bradley won't want to go back to million-dollar paydays when he's expected to make $5 million against Pacquiao. A loss to Pacquiao would make him dart toward Alexander, if only for his WBC ranking.
Beating Alexander again would net Bradley a coveted potential mandatory challenger position opposite WBC champion Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather is the other big money-making fish in boxing.
Though Bradley's promoter Top Rank is often at odds with Mayweather as evidenced by the highly toxic Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations, Mayweather-Bradley would be much easier to make.
Bradley would be willing to get in his place and accept a smaller purse and stringent drug testing to be back in the limelight. But first Bradley would have to get through Alexander.
Alexander was dominated the first time, but he wasn't beaten in such a way that he couldn't adjust to beat Bradley in fantastic fashion. He'll need a better game plan which will be hard, but quite doable.
Lamont Peterson vs. Amir Khan II Winner
Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson are set to duel again May 19 following their controversial, yet exciting first fight this past December. Both will be fighting at junior welterweight, but looking to move up next.
With both fighters obviously intent on moving up to welterweight, beating either fighter puts Alexander on the right track toward a fight with Pacquiao or Mayweather, boxing's equivalent of winning the lottery.
Mike Jones vs. Randall Bailey Winner
Mike Jones is due to face Randall Bailey on the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Bradley June 9. The fight will be for a vacant IBF world title. Alexander can take that title if Golden Boy puts up the right money.
Jones (26-0, 19 KO) fights for Top Rank, which would make negotiations difficult but not impossible. Jones isn't yet an attraction. Alexander is a hit in St. Louis. A deal can be made.
If the 37-year-old Bailey (42-7, 36 KO) upsets 28-year-old Jones, then Alexander's promoter Golden Boy could work much easier with Bailey's promoter Lou DiBella.
Being one of four major world titlist at welterweight would bode well for Alexander's chances of one day unifying with Mayweather or Pacquiao.
Viacheslav Senchenko vs. Paulie Malignaggi Winner
Paulie Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KO) faces undefeated WBA champ Viacheslav Senchenko (32-0, 21 KO) April 29. Malignaggi is promoted by Alexander's promoter Golden Boy.
Should the Brooklyn-born Italian defeat Senchenko, Alexander could be lined up to face "the Magic Man" in the fall. Malignaggi has great talent, fast hands and a heck of mouth to promote his fights.
HBO might not be willing to spend money on his fight with a Ukrainian like Senchenko, but a Malignaggi-Alexander fight is definitely one the network would leap for.