Lem Satterfield of The RING reports that a possible January 28 welterweight double-header on HBO is being discussed. The main event would be a rematch of this past April's battle between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz, while Paul Malignaggi would face Devon Alexander in the co-feature.
"Nothing is done yet, but that's what we're working on and that's what is being discussed," said [Richard] Schaefer. "We are having conversations about putting this double-header together."
Berto (28-1, 22 KO) lost for the first time as a pro in a knock-down, drag-out brawl with Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO) on April 16, with Floyd Mayweather Jr at ringside. That set up Ortiz for his instantly infamous fourth round knockout at the hands of Mayweather on September 17.
For all the world, it looks like any possible Mayweather vs Ortiz rematch, at least for May 5 next year when Mayweather returns to the ring, is not going to happen. The rematch with Berto looks more likely, but it should be noted that Berto and promoter Lou DiBella have demanded the sort of drug testing that Mayweather has for his fights for a possible rematch. It's also worth noting that after the loss to Ortiz, Berto drew flak for speculating that Ortiz was using performance-enhancing drugs (though he attempted to recant).
Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KO) has had a very public media feud with Alexander's manager and trainer, Kevin Cunningham. Alexander himself has largely stayed quiet, as is generally the case for him. Malignaggi last fought on October 15, beating Orlando Lora on the Hopkins vs Dawson show. He's recently indicated interest in fighting Marcos Maidana, but Golden Boy may be higher on pairing him with Alexander (22-1, 13 KO).
Alexander signed with Golden Boy Promotions in September, three months after his controversial hometown win over Lucas Matthysse. The St. Louis native had a rocky end to his time at 140 pounds, with two debated victories over Matthysse and Andriy Kotelnik, and a clear loss in January 2011 to Timothy Bradley in what may have been boxing's biggest box office bomb of 2011, at least until Hopkins vs Dawson sold a whopping 40,000 pay-per-views.
I think the desire to see a Berto vs Ortiz rematch is definitely there in the boxing world, since the first fight was great and neither appears likely to land a better fight right now, but I suspect Malignaggi vs Alexander will meet a tepid response no matter how much either of them (or their managers) talk trash in the press. Personally, I'd rather see Malignaggi vs Maidana.