Fresh off his decision over Randall Bailey to win the IBF welterweight crown, Devon Alexander has begun to discuss his next possible opponent, mandatory challenger Kell Brook. Brook himself was just awarded the mandatory position by the IBF with a stoppage over a badly outgunned Hector Saldivia, a bout which was a way for Brook to have an easy out after going to war with Carson Jones in the summer.
On paper this looks to be a pretty even matchup with a valid argument being made for each man heading into this as the favorite. Nevertheless, Alexander admits that he has never seen his future adversary fight, and "maybe he can be used as a tune-up."
Here is the full quote of what was said from World Boxing News via Boxing Scene:
"I didn't see the fight (Saldivia) and I barely know Kell Brook. We will see what my advisor Al Haymon and my trainer Kevin Cunningham come up with. Right now, I'm not even worried about Kell Brook because I barely know him and who is he anyway? I never saw him fight before so I can't rate him, but maybe he can be used as a tune-up. Right now there are a lot of options and I'll just leave it up to my trainer and advisor to deal with."
I can't say that I am 100% completely shocked if Alexander has never really seen Brook fight before. I get the feeling that unless one has headlined on HBO or Showtime in a major event, a lot of Americans probably haven't seen you either. Not that America is the center of the universe, but most people don't watch online feeds of European prospects/contenders. In fact, I would bet that guys like Jim Lampley have never seen Brook fight either. Heck, I don't think he had ever seen Andre Ward fight until he was on HBO. This having been said, I'm sure Gus Johnson has seen every Brook fight, and has broken down the film accordingly.
OK, enough of me being stupid. While I'm not shocked that Alexander has never seen Brook fight, I do feel he is being ignorant if he really thinks Brook will be merely a tune-up. And let me give you my main reason as to why: I think Brook beats him outright.
I've become a fan of Brook. He's not perfect and he can be hit, but I like him as a fighter. He's talented and he showed a bit of spunk against Jones. I don't think he would rout Alexander or anything like that because, as much crap as we give Alexander for his gift decisions, he isn't terrible or anything. But I do think that Brook can match Alexander's physical talents with his own, and win rounds by outworking the sometimes content Alexander. There are times when Alexander does his mode of "OK, I've landed a few more punches than him so I should win this round so I'm going into cruise control now". That's where I feel Brook could take control.
Anyways, the fight is not official yet, but Brook's side is pushing for it. A big issue will be where to stage the event. Naturally, Alexander's camp will want it in St. Louis where he has been a good draw in a town that seems to support its local boxing. Brook's side may not be crazy about that idea, however, due to the fact that Alexander has won a few close decisions there that have been highly controversial.