140-pound contender Devon Alexander has been declared a free agent by trainer and manager Kevin Cunningham in an interview with Lem Satterfield, and Golden Boy and Top Rank are both interested. Alexander's supposed former promoter, Don King, has not commented.
"Devon Alexander is a very polite and nice young man outside of the ring and he comes across very well. So he's definitely a fighter which we would be interested in."
A popular attraction in his native St. Louis, Alexander's bouts routinely pack local arenas in his hometown.
"I think that he's highly marketable and he has a built-in fan base. Very few fighters can sell the amount of tickets that Devon Alexander can," said Schaefer. "I have not had any conversation with Alexander or his manager, Kevin Cunningham. But I definitely will, over the coming weeks, reach out to them and see if there is an interest in working together."
Alexander is a draw in St. Louis, but his last fight with Lucas Matthysse did not draw as well as his previous fights have, and given the fact that many felt he received a gift in that fight, that could further impact his ability to bring in fans. St. Louis has a dedicated boxing fanbase that supports their local fighters, but as best I've been able to tell in recent years, they're also pretty fickle. When Cory Spinks started looking worn out a couple of years ago, he was booed heavily by fans that had once heavily supported him when he fought fellow St. Louis native Deandre Latimore. By the end, with Spinks putting on a good fight and eventually winning, they went back in Spinks' favor, but he really had to win them over.
Can Alexander win back any fans that may be dropping off, or already have? He's moving to 147 pounds and wants a fight with press rival Paulie Malignaggi, but Malignaggi is (surprise, surprise) dealing with hand injury issues, so that will have to wait until next year. If he beats Malignaggi, Cunningham says they hope to fight the winner of September 3's Jan Zaveck vs Andre Berto fight for Zaveck's IBF belt.