Mayweather to Face Alexander?

By Matt McGrain on February 6, 2013
Mayweather to Face Alexander?
So what are the fans after? Well, it’s safe to say, not Devon Alexander. (Robert Ecksel)

You never know with Floyd, but in the last few hours this has begun to look likely. Mayweather has announced on Twitter that negotiations are “almost done” and that the “front runner” is Devon Alexander. That “Money” is negotiating with more than one fighter can hardly be seen as a surprise. This is a fighter interested more in the bottom line than what the fans are after and who, really, can blame him?

So what are the fans after? Well, it’s safe to say, not Devon Alexander. He’s a fighter with some modicum of name recognition, that much is true, but a glance at the Transnational Boxing Rankings shows us that there are four fighters ranked between Mayweather (#1) and Alexander (#6).

#2 is the evergreen Juan Manuel Marquez.  A fight between Marquez and Mayweather is the only fight that can crown a new champion in the welterweight division according to TBR’s championship policy but it is perhaps understandable that appetite for a rematch between these two was less than whetted by Mayweather’s utter domination of the Mexican the first time around.

At #3 is Manny Pacquiao. Recently defeated by Marquez, Pacquiao’s stock hasn’t been lower since before his first meeting with his perennial foe, but with Mayweather being Mayweather, anything is possible. The idea of the two most insidious negotiating teams this side of Don King’s ludicrous prime negotiating now that one of their fighters has finally lost might be amusing, but it isn’t likely.

That leaves us with Timothy Bradley (#4) and Robert Guerrero (#5). Guerrero made all the early running on the rumor mill after his impressive UD win against Andre Berto in November of last year, and even more so when the date for Mayweather’s next fight, May 4th, a Mexican holiday, was announced. Bradley was never so prevalent as far as the gossip went but as an opponent he makes all the sense in the world having beaten, in the loosest sense of the word, Manny Pacquiao in last year’s most infamous robbery, a fact Mayweather had reveled in.

Much more relevant is the fact that he holds a win over Devon Alexander.

Despite all of this, Alexander seems to be the flower that this solid gold butterfly has alighted upon. Alexander hasn’t been beaten since he basically quit against Bradley two years ago, but included in the three wins he has garnered since his worst night as a professional is a very controversial ten-round split decision win over Lucas Matthysse in which a repeatedly weak jab saw him dropped on his ass and arguably shaded. Since, he has looked better against Randall Bailey and Marcos Maidana but this is not world-beating form. This is not Mayweather beating form.

I don’t consider that anyone with a less than stellar jab will ever beat Floyd. A fighter that is lacking a genuinely first-class jab must at least have the power to give him that puncher’s chance. If he offers neither, a high work-rate is a must so he can grab the occasional round to keep things competitive as he is being outboxed.

Alexander has none of this. As Timothy Bradley said of his one-time opponent, “If you give Devon time, he will box you to pieces.” This is accurate. It is also something that can be said of Mayweather with far greater conviction. Alexander basically wants to deliver fluid boxing in combination against the guy that wrote the book on it in the last decade. It won’t work. Perhaps that is the point.

Additionally, nobody seems to be concerned that Alexander is under contract to fight Kell Brook in what would likely be a much more appealing fight. Mayweather tends to sweep all before him in the boardroom just as in the ring, of course, but that a genuinely appealing fight looks to become a casualty of what will probably be a drab and one-sided affair seems a real shame.

The ink isn’t dry on this one yet, and hopefully Guerrero, Bradley, one of a multitude of fighters at light-middleweight, or someone else more qualified as well as more appealing will swoop in at the final second and spare us. My rule of thumb is that any fight between ranked contenders is a positive thing. Floyd is a special case. You’re either the best fighter in the world, or you’re not. If you are, fight the best or make a marquee event, in that order of preference.

This would be neither.

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  1. THE THRESHER 12:30pm, 02/08/2013

    FROM ANOTHER SITE: “Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions says there haven’t been any negotiations for a Floyd Mayweather-Devon Alexander fight, giving the impression that Mayweather was just stirring the pot naming Alexander as his likely May 4 opponent.”

  2. raxman 11:37pm, 02/07/2013

    having had a few minutes to think on this i think i know what this is about. its a tune up fight. yeah, most fighters don’t take top tier talent as tune up but i feel floyd has done this thing before - when he came back after nearly 2years and fought JMM - people criticized him for fighting such a small guy but for mine the money team saw it as a tune up - a tune up against one of the best fighters in the world but a tune up none the less. now he’s fighting a southpaw tune up that will be easier on the old body than guerrero would have been. i reckon floyd will either fight guerrero next and or his plan is still about pac - i’d still like to see him fight bradley though.

  3. raxman 11:07pm, 02/07/2013

    i don’t floyd vs guerrero any more interesting. the canelo fight wont be made because golden boy are too scared that he’s not ready for floyd and he’ll be so completely out boxed that his brand will be forever damaged. for me the best, ie most interesting fight is bradley. i actually think floyd would get his first stoppage since hatton. i think as far as brand recognition and floyd’s business model the bradley fight would make the most sense. unfortunately he has arum as a promoter too. i mean he’s been on the bench for nearly as long as floyd. arum made a big mistake pushing for jmm#4 he should’ve made the bradley v pac rematch instead. 

  4. the thresher 12:32pm, 02/07/2013

    This is the kind of thing that creates a freak show aura around boxing. There is no way in hell that this snoozfest will take place. It runs contrary to Mayweather’s business model in that the purse will only be minga instead of mega (double entendre intended).

  5. Pete The Sneak 06:05am, 02/07/2013

    Mayweather/Alexander…Sponsored by ‘AMBIEN.’...Gotta put that one on my calendar. Might be the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while…Peace.

  6. Darrell 06:44pm, 02/06/2013

    As a fan of Floyd’s, I ask this question….

    Why Alexander, Floyd?  Why?

    Let’s face it, he’s not a lucrative fight at all.  It would not surprise if there are less than a million PPV hits if he does take Alexander.  Makes no sense at all.

    I’m still hopeful he can come to terms with Guerrero, who’s a much tougher option than Alexander certainly, and probably a better option than either of the other two….JMM (who’d get schooled again), and Pac (who has slid badly really).  Though I admit, they would be the best two for a decent payday.  The other who should be in line for a fight is Austin Trout, his stock has risen since beating Cotto.

    I must say, what has Canelo done to earn a crack at Floyd?  Beat another junior middleweight who ain’t old & faded first.

  7. Armando 12:56pm, 02/06/2013

    It’s mind boggling how Floyd, with all his natural talent still insists on fighting average, over the hill fighters. I understand that his Money Team is trying to milk all potential money that Floyd can produce but Floyd himself, deep inside, is NOT fighting the best talent the sport has to offer. Cowboy up Floyd and stop listening to your money hungry team and staple your true legacy that you deserve. Canelo, Sergio Martinez etc. would be money well earned.

  8. Joe 08:22am, 02/06/2013

    This is an HBO Championship Boxing matchup - and that’s a stretch.  The numbers will not be “Money"ish with a missmatchup like this.

  9. Clarence George 03:52am, 02/06/2013

    Nicely done, Matt, if I may say so.

    Floyd Mayweather-Devon Alexander is of very limited interest.  More appealing would be Mayweather-Robert Guerrero and Mayweather-Saul Alvarez.  Or Mayweather-Sergio Martinez, but I don’t see that happening.

    Best would be to stick Mayweather in a time machine and send him back to fight Henry Armstrong.  “Perpetual Motion” would win.

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