In the aftermath of the rising superstar Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr. successfully defending his (fake) WBC middleweight crown on this past Saturday, HBO is set to host another intriguing fight that will promote the classic bull vs. matador style as Devon Alexander will face Marcos Maidana.
The fight will take place in Devon’s hometown on February 25, 2012, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri as these two fighters’ stock will be raised even higher with a victory as the two fighters decided to move up in weight and test the welterweight division in this upcoming affair.
Maidana is an all-action attack warrior and Devon Alexander is the classic boxer counter-puncher which can add up to either a great fight or a shut out depending on which two guys show up. This fight also will pit a southpaw in Alexander against an orthodox fighter in Maidana which could spell trouble for Maidana as well.
Both Maidana and Alexander have a lot of flaws which can be exposed, and here are the 5 factors which very well may end up deciding the bout and how it plays out.
5. Alexander’s Technical Boxing Skills
This is the attribute which will win the night for Devon Alexander, if he will win, given that he has superior boxing skills including a great jab to excellent counter-punching. However, Maidana will be in Alexander’s face the entire night, and he will most likely force Alexander at some point in the fight to engage with him. I expect the game plan for Alexander to be box, box, and box some more while using the whole ring to circle and move away from that devastating power that Maidana possesses. If Devon can stay on his stick and move, then I feel that it will be Devon Alexander who will have his hand raised in victory in his first fight at 147 lbs.
4. Maidana’s Power
Marcos “El Chino” Maidana can and will win this fight if he can land something big on Devon. Marcos will simply use his relentless style to try and get inside of Alexander to land something huge to hurt Alexander. Devon is known to shoe-shine a lot in his fights, to keep his opponents at bay and score cheap points on the judges’ scorecards, but this is where I feel that Maidana will have a chance, most likely late in the fight, to land something big when Alexander is trying to run out the clock and score a few cheap points.
3. Alexander’s Speed
If Alexander effectively uses his speed to counterpunch Maidana and move out of the way of whatever blow back that Maidana will try to throw in retaliation, he can dance his way to an easy victory. Alexander can’t win a brawl against Maidana, as I feel Maidana will rip him to shreds if that happens, so I believe that Alexander will be smart and learn a lesson about not making the same mistake his good friend and St. Louis counterpart Cory Spinks made in his second welterweight showdown with Zab Judah, when he tried to fight fire with fire and got knocked out in his homecoming fight.
2. Maidana’s Aggressiveness
Maidana will once again have to be the all-out aggressor in the fight, however he kind of got exposed a little in his fight last year against the great Erik Morales when he was counter-punched to death by Morales. Still, being aggressiveness is what he does best and this is probably the only shot Maidana has at beating the slick and elusive Alexander. This is especially true given that the fight is in Alexander’s backyard, which means that unless he beats Alexander convincingly, Alexander will be awarded the decision.
With both of these fighters moving up a weight class, you do not know how the new weight is going to affect them. Stamina affects Devon Alexander a lot more than Maidana, so this is where I feel the fight will be won or lost come February 25. In Alexander’s last two fights, he simply quit against Timothy Bradley and he gassed out down the stretch against Lucas Matthysse in a fight where a lot of boxing experts felt that Matthysse won the fight. If he gasses out against Maidana, he’ll be an easy target.
On February 25, 2012, we are going to witness a boom or bust fight. Meaning that if Devon Alexander shows up and simply outboxes Maidana and avoids his big shots, it will be a bust of a fight in terms of action and entertainment. However, if the great all-action fighter Marcos “El Chino” Maidana can find a way to get the elusive Alexander the Great to engage him, then boxing fans, we can sit back and enjoy a fight of the year candidate type fight.
I hope that Maidana can bring out the best in Alexander as he has done with a lot of fighters, such as Amir Khan. However, I have a feeling that Devon is going to do everything in his power to move and elude given that he has serious stamina issues and can be overpowered by Maidana if he engages, so we may not get the fireworks that we would like to see. It’s a toss-up fight, and the above 5 factors will determine who wins the Alexander vs. Maidana fight and moves into welterweight title contention.