It's one of the dynamics of the fight: Which of these escape artists will find his way out of the straitjacket this weekend? But there are more dynamics than that. It's the true welterweight debut for both of them, after spending years as the class of the 140-pound division. It's a boxer-puncher match-up. And it's got the makings of a good action fight -- Maidana is in it, and logic dictates that because there is no such thing as a bad Maidana fight, it should be good; and Alexander has been at his best against aggressive punchers, while Maidana has shown he can be fun even when pitted against a slick boxer. It's not the ideal match-up most of us would make for Maidana (cough cough Brandon Rios cough cough), but as intriguing crossroads bouts go, it more than does the trick.
Alexander is pretty consistently the favorite of the boxing media to pull this one off. It has something to do with the fact that Maidana is such a one-trick pony. But, as the saying goes, it's a pretty good trick. Maidana is boxing's purest slugger, a hard-headed, heavy-handed, indefatigable sort. "Technique" is a dirty word to the Argentinian. Maidana is just powerful and relentless enough to hang with anyone. He's just sloppy and vulnerable enough to lose to anyone, too.
He says he's learned at least one new trick for this fight: Stamina. Maidana has had a tendency to disappear for stretches of fights, so if his new strength and conditioning program is on point, it could turn the relentlessless up a notch.
Whereas Maidana has been remarkably consistent -- in both his flaws and good qualities -- Alexander has been on a slow plummet. It began with his shaky performance against Kotelnik, fresh off a New York Times feature about Alexander. The loss to Timothy Bradley just about bottomed out his reputation in the boxing world; he seemed reluctant from the start, and has been accused, with some cause, of using the late-round head butt as an excuse to get out of the fight. He showed more grit against Matthysse in his next fight, but it wasn't enough for him to win the fight clearly.
At his best, Alexander was a quick, southpaw boxer with some punching ability. Maybe the whole "we have been draining ourselves to make 140 ponds for too long" excuse from Alexander's team is just that -- an excuse -- but the lack of pop in his shots in recent fights points to the potential that it's true, although maybe it could be attributed as well to what I see as a decline in his technique and ring intelligence. All I can say is that the guy who knocked out iron-chinned Juan Urango hasn't been seen since.
Whatever the truth of the matter, Alexander's team is saying they feel great about the new weight. It's a moving piece for both men, the new division, but it's more of one for Alexander. You have to figure Maidana carries at least some of his power up to 147; if Alexander is MORE powerful at 147, that would be huge for Devon.
Something else that's huge for Alexander is that the fight is in St. Louis, where hometown boy Alexander has at least gotten the benefit of the doubt from the judges, if not outright gifts from them.
If the fragility we saw in Alexander against Bradley is still there, Maidana has the potential to shatter him. But just on boxing ability and the match-up, I would've picked Alexander to beat Maidana at the junior welterweight limit where Alexander said he was struggling. I'll go ahead and assume the new weight is more likely to help Alexander than hurt him, and have little effect on Maidana.
That means I'm picking Alexander by decision, and one less debatable than the Kotelnik and Matthysse wins. But I could see it being a bit closer and more controversial than that, with Alexander rocking Maidana early only to face his wrath late, the way Maidana did Khan. Either way, Alexander probably gets it. Maidana losing a fight like this probably does nothing to his reputation -- he'll be in demand no matter what, and people can write it off to a bad style match-up. If Alexander wins, it's no guarantee he'll return to the status he once enjoyed as NYT cover boy and most-ballyhooed young American boxer. But it'd be a nice step back to respectability that now seems like forever ago.
Watch Maidana vs Alexander HBO Boxing Live Streaming online Free HERE: http://tinyurl.com/Maidana-vs-Alexander-Live
I believe and hope that Alexander will crumble under the Chinese baby faced south american.
Maidana is more man than Alexander and will punk him.
This is an expert oppinion. It is the only one that matters.
I can't see Alexander losing this fight in St. Louis unless he's being beaten pillar-to-post, and I can't see Maidana doing that to Alexander if Matthysse couldn't. (note: I had Matthysse winning against Alexander)
still, Alexander has to be impressive in all aspects of this fight to remain relevant. I'm guessing he won't be, but will be good enough to beat Maidana in his home town.
some are saying this has FOTY potential. I don't see it. I just see a slightly more definitive version of the Alexander-Matthysse fight. I'm happy to be wrong though.
Agree with the conclusion. I think Maidana's skills are probably underrated in general, but sometimes he takes a bit to get revved up, sometimes he's bothered by movement, etc. I had Alexander losing to both Matthysse and Kotelnyk pretty convincingly, and one of the really noticeable things they both did consistently was jab, jab, jab. Short of just wearing on Alexander and walking him down successfully, I just see Devon out-maneuvering Maidana for much of the fight, maybe with a few shaky spots. I'd like to see Maidana win, even if only for my hearing's sake. That yelling Devon does is annoying as shit, and sometimes I think it even gives the impression that his work is more effective than it really is. Running around and rattling off 1-2-3's while karate yelling hasn't gotten him anywhere in a bit. Add in the St. Louis element, and I'd say Maidana needs a knockout or a few knockdowns.