Cunningham, who started training Devon when he was only seven years old, has guided him to over 300 amateur wins and two world titles as a pro. On Sept. 8, Devon was supposed to be fighting for a chance to win a third world title against IBF welterweight champion Randall Bailey.
Recently Randall Bailey withdrew from their fight citing a back injury.
According to Cunningham, Devon has been in the gym since June preparing for his shot at the IBF title. So both he a Devon are very frustrated with what they perceive as a lack of professionalism on Baileys part.
“The guy lucked up and won the world title and is still in celebration mode as far as I am concerned,” a seemingly perturbed Cunningham told B/R in a recent interview. “This fight came up on him faster then he expected and from what I hear, and I believe the rumors that he just pulled because he wasn’t ready.”
Cunningham doesn’t believe that Bailey is actually injured at all and is just looking for a way to get out of fighting Devon so he can hold on to his title a little longer.
“He (Bailey) was tricked into this fight and now he realizes it and this ain’t the fight he wants,” said Cunningham. “He did an interview and a reporter asked him, ‘What about Devon Alexander?’ and he said,’ Ah, Devon ain’t nothing I’ve always wanted to fight him,’ but he didn’t expect this fight to get made. That was just talk and now that the fight got made. This is not the fight he wanted.”
Cunningham believes that Bailey would like to avoid having to defend his title against Devon right away and take a soft fight or two in the interim.
The fight with Bailey should now take place on either the Oct. 20, or 27, but Cunningham is concerned that Bailey will try to get out of those proposed dates also.
“I don’t trust this guy he’s unprofessional, this is the kind of guy that you can’t trust that he’ll be ready in October,” said Cunningham of Bailey. “I read an interview were his initial excuse was that he hurt his back and then during that interview he said he thought he broke his hip. When you’re lying you start slipping and saying different things.”
With Bailey’s apparent flip-flopping Cunningham doesn’t know what to believe. In addition to whether or not Bailey is really hurt, he questions his method of training also.
“He said he hurt his back sparring with his big super middleweight sparring partners, but then in every interview he does he calls Devon a little midget, little this, little that, but then he’s sparring with big super middleweights, I don’t understand that,” said Cunningham. “ You just can’t believe anything that comes out of this guys mouth.”
This delay has angered Devon and his trainer who believes that his fighter will look to hurt Bailey should they eventually meet.
“We plan on punishing him,” said Cunningham. ”We’re going to box him and we’re going to beat him up and I see Bailey taking some serious (and) lots of punishment in this fight.”
Cunningham believes his fighter is ready for anyone should Bailey pull out yet again.
“Devon is one the elite fighters in the welterweight division and he wants to fight the best guys,” said Cunningham. “We would love to fight Manny Pacquiao, we would love to fight Manny Pacquiao no doubt.”
Cunningham believes the cold war between promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy will not allow for a Pacquiao fight for his fighter or a rematch with Tim Bradley.
“Bradley won the first fight and Devon, eventually he’d love to do a rematch with Tim Bradley, but he’s with Top Rank so I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Cunningham. “Devon is willing to fight anybody whether it’s (Robert) Guerrero, (Amir) Khan, (Victor) Ortiz, (Andre) Berto, (Floyd) Mayweather, it doesn’t matter.”
Cunningham and Devon’s sole focus at this point is Bailey.
“Bailey’s got the title and he signed a contract to fight so he’s going to have to eventually get into the ring,” said Cunningham. “Hopefully he stops making excuses and gets his but in the ring in October so Devon can take care business and we can move on.”
In the chance that Bailey is unable to fight in October, Devon will be fighting no matter what according to his trainer. Although he says he doesn’t know who the opponent would be.
Cunningham is optimistic that a fight with Bailey on the Oct. 20, Golden Boy card from the Barclay’s Center could lead to a unification bout with WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi who is scheduled to make the first defense of his title that night.
“Hopefully we fight Randall Bailey on that October the 20th card and then (when) Devon wins and Malignaggi wins that will be another showdown that we will need to take care of.”
Michael Walters is a Correspondent for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
You can follow Michael Walters on twitter @MWalters202