Home News Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander Preview & Prediction

Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander Preview & Prediction

Junior Welterweight Unification Between Bradley & Alexander For Top Spot in Division:

In the first major event of 2011, undefeated titleholders Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander collide to determine the top candidate for 140-pound supremacy. Amir Khan will still have a reasonable claim as the best light-welter in the world, regardless of who wins. Nevertheless, the victor of this bout will have a jewel in his crown that surpasses any of Khan’s ring achievements. It’s fair to say that this fight is for the top spot in what has become a packed and exciting weight class.

Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander Fight Preview and Prediction

Timothy Bradley, 26-0 (11 KOs), Palm Springs, California, WBO World Champion
Vs.
Devon Alexander, 21-0 (13 KOs), St. Louis, Missouri, WBC World Champion

While not yet household names, Bradley vs. Alexander is the kind of bout that gets boxing fans excited. We have two titlists who seem a clear level above all their contenders within the junior welterweight division. Each man could milk more defenses and paydays out of their reign while taking minimum risk. Luckily for fight fans, these two young champions have dared to be great, hence this sizzling matchup.

Bradley vs. Alexander: Background and Record

Photo credit: Ed Keenan/EMC Events

Bradley: A two-time National amateur champion, the Californian turned pro after missing out on a spot for the 2004 Olympics, losing to Vanes Martirosyan at 152 pounds in the trials. He dropped down to a more reasonable 140 and strung together a nice streak of wins to begin his career. Bradley defeated current IBF Light weight Champion Miguel Vasquez, but was considered too green for streaking WBC 140-pond champ Junior Witter for their 2008 bout. Bradley went to Nottingham to notch a split decision win and become champion.

Bradley registered a defense against Edner Cherry, before pulling through in a difficult unification bout with WBO titleholder Kendall Holt, in which he was dropped twice. The “Desert Storm” seemed unlucky to get a No-Contest against Nate Campbell in a fight he was dominating. He went on to score a clear win over excellent contender Lamont Peterson, before registering a non-title win over 29-0 welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu in his last fight in July.

Alexander: Won his biggest fight by surviving the hard streets of St. Louis, where many of his gym mates ended up dead or behind bars. Alexander had a prolific amateur career, with a reported record of 300-10, including multiple national titles. Missed out on the 2004 Olympics, but rattled off an undefeated streak after turning pro at 17. He operated almost anonymously for several years, until a win over ex-champ DeMarcus Corley got him noticed.

Cleaned up on what was left of Junior Witter to claim the vacant WBC belt in ’09. His first defense put him squarely in the realm of rising young champions, as he knocked out durable and strong ex-champ Juan Urango in an eye-popping display of power. He lost a little momentum in a titanic struggle with Andriy Kotelnik. Many felt Kotelnik won the fight with his superior boxing skills and tactics.

Physical Dimensions and Style

Bradley: Built like a 140-pound Marvin Hagler. Stands a reported 5’6,” but is probably a little shorter—definitely a little on the small side for this weight class. Surprisingly, he doesn’t generate a lot of power despite his imposing physique and aggressive style. Bradley overwhelms opponents with constant pressure, high punch-rate, and above average speed.

Alexander: Another heavily-muscled 140-pounder, one gets the impression that this pair would be #1 and #2 if they were to enter a bodybuilding competition at 140 pounds. At 5’7” and with a reach of 71 inches, Alexander will hold small edges in height and reach. More of an outside force than Bradley, Alexander may also be the harder puncher, though not as physically strong overall as Bradley. When things aren’t going well, he can still call upon a high work rate to keep himself in fights, as he did against Kotelnik.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Bradley: His self-belief, conditioning, long amateur background, and fighting spirit make this 27-year old a handful for anyone. Sometimes, he seems like a machine in the ring—an imperturbable force that runs roughshod over his opponents. But when he doesn’t have his edge, Bradley can appear a little disinterested at times. He has never stopped a worthy opponent.

Alexander: A well-grounded young man of 23, Alexander has youth and energy on his side, but also a lot of experience. Can keep it together when things aren’t going his way. Is capable of slick boxing, but also keeps opponents on high alert due to his copious punching power. He has all the tools. Still, with only 3 fights at the world-class level, he might need more seasoning—a point that was shown in his struggle with the far less naturally gifted Kotelnik.

Bradley vs. Alexander Questions

  • Beating Urango was impressive, but was the Kotelnik fight more revealing for Alexander? Urango is a strong opponent, but also very crude. Did the Kotelnik fight show Alexander to be weak against prime and ultra-skilled opponents?
  • Having fought his last fight at 147, will Bradley’s performance be compromised by weight-making issues?
  • Everyone wants to think of Bradley like a Marvin Hagler clone, but is his durability really Hagler-esque? If Kendall Holt was able to detonate a few bombs on his chin, what will happen if Alexander connects with his best shots or a shot Bradley doesn’t see?
  • Did wins over a faded Junior Witter, a Neanderthal Juan Urango, and a highly technical but not physically imposing Kotelnik prepare Alexander for the buzzsaw and skilled attack of Bradley?
  • Will Alexander stick to the script and fight on the outside against the fireplug Bradley? Or will he not respect Bradley’s power and opt for a more aggressive style?

Bradley vs. Alexander Prediction

We don’t really know what we have with these two fighters yet, do we? One or both of them could end up becoming PPV attractions in the future or maybe they reached their highest level already. The fact is that after just a small handful of meaningful fights, it is still up in the air. Two or three years ago, no one really knew who these guys were. As of now, they appear to be a pair of young and gifted champions with big futures. This fight will play a gigantic role in determining who can take that next step.

My feeling is that at 27 (4 years older than Alexander), Bradley is the more finished professional product. This fight could unfold in any number of ways, but I see Bradley taking a lead with his superior work rate and pressure, with the sharp strikes and counters of Alexander increasingly playing a role as the fight moves into the middle rounds. By the 8th round, Alexander will be looking like he’s running away with it. Bradley, however, will redouble his efforts to take a few of the later rounds.

If Bradley can soldier through the tough spots and keep from touching down, he should be able to win enough rounds to nose home a winner.

Prediction: Timothy Bradley by close 12-round decision.

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Scott Levinson has been a rabid boxing fan since his earliest memories. A writer and educator, Scott has been studying the sport's history for over 25 years. He also has extensive knowledge of the game on an international level, as he has closely followed the sport in Europe, Asia, and South America for many years. He is based in the San Diego area, and can be contacted at scottmlevinson@yahoo.com.