Devon Alexander has unified titles, at least for now. The WBC junior welterweight titlist stopped IBF titleholder Juan Urango in the eighth round tonight on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Alexander (20-0, 13 KO) knocked down Urango (22-3-1, 17 KO) on a humongous right hand uppercut early in the round, then finished him off moments later. Referee Benjy Esteves waved the fight off despite minor protests from Urango, but the Colombian was finished. His legs were totally gone, his face showed serious shock, and Alexander knew he was hurt. Alexander was accurate enough all night that there was almost no way Urango was coming back into that fight, so the stoppage was a good one for sure.
It was a very impressive performance overall from Alexander, especially when you consider that nobody was picking him to stop the durable Urango. Most picked Devon to win, but by decision, and wide. He showed what we expected, that he could easily outbox the plodding Urango and pick him off without much trouble. Urango did show some fire here and there, but Alexander was just too fast, too skilled, and too dynamic.
Urango, 28, is going to have a tough time climbing back into things. He's dangerous enough to knock out just about anybody, but he's also just not very good. He is a one-speed fighter with a really good right hook, but would you favor him against Lamont Peterson? I think it's also actually worth questioning the durability he's been known for. No, Ricky Hatton didn't break him down at all, but he did hit him a lot. Urango was decked by Randall Bailey, but Bailey is a nasty puncher. Tonight, Alexander eventually blew him up. And yes, it was a great punch, but could the years be piling up on him?
With the way the division is shaping up, Urango could find it tough to find another good fight by the end of this year. He might have to just take a stay-busy bout and get back in there when the chance comes. He's borderline top 10 at this point, as he's badly lost to the three best fighters he's faced and his best win is either Herman Ngoudjo or Bailey. A move up to welterweight seems possible, but I think he'd struggle with the same issues up there, as he showed against Berto.
But the focus now should be Devon Alexander, who has the sort of ability to become a really special fighter, and tonight, he showed it.