Devon Alexander makes his first defense of the IBF welterweight title on February 23 in Detroit, facing the UK's Kell Brook in Detroit. The fighters spoke about the big night recently.
Devon Alexander will headline against Kell Brook for the IBF welterweight title on February 23 at The Masonic Temple Theater in Detroit, live on Showtime. Also on the card, the Motor City's own Cornelius "K9" Bundrage faces Ishe Smith for the IBF junior middleweight title, and Mayweather Promotions prospect J'Leon Love takes on veteran Bronco McKart.
Tickets are on sale now at the box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, and by phone at (800) 745-3000, priced from $25-200. Below, quotes from the fighters and promoters.
"2013 is going to be a big year for my career and I'm going to get it started right in an exciting fashion against Kell Brook. I worked extremely hard to win my title and I'm not giving it away to anyone. This will be a statement-making fight for me."
"This is the biggest night of my life. When I turned up at the Wincobank Gym in Sheffield as a nine year old, this was what I dreamed about - boxing for a world title and on February 23, I'll turn that dream into a reality. I'm in the best physical shape of my life and the best ever Kell Brook will be in the ring in Detroit and there's no way that I am coming home without that world title. This is my destiny, it's just meant to be and there's nothing Devon Alexander can do to stop me."
Cornelius "K9" Bundrage
"I thank my Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me to be able to defend my title right here in Detroit, in front of all of my family and friends. It's an honor to be able to bring world championship boxing back to the city of Detroit. I always train hard and am prepared for what my opponent might show me in the ring. No man can close doors that God has opened. Nothing will be different this time and it will be a special night of boxing for everyone. I will be victorious February 23 in Jesus' name."
"I want to thank Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions for believing in me and my boxing talents and helping make this dream to fight K9 [Bundrage] for his title a reality. I know he'll have the hometown advantage, but I'm not worried about that. I'm preparing for the fight of my life and I feel confident that I'll beat him and become the new champion."
"It feels great to be able to fight in Detroit, my hometown and the place where I learned how to fight. I'm excited to show everyone that I'm on the road to a championship and nothing will stop me from achieving my lifelong dream. Training and working with Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions in Las Vegas has given me another level of appreciation for hard work and determination."
"I am grateful for the opportunity to fight in Detroit one more time. I've had a long and great career and still feel comfortable fighting for pride and glory. J'Leon Love is a young and exciting fighter from this area too, but I feel that my experience will be too much for him to handle and that I'll be victorious on February 23. I hope everyone in and around Detroit will come out and support this great night of boxing."
Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions
"Devon Alexander and Kell Brook have been waiting to take care of business in the ring and we're going to the fighting city of Detroit for them to settle the score in one of the biggest fights of early 2013. Plus, Detroit's own ‘K9' Bundrage is back in his hometown to take on longtime contender Ishe Smith in an important showdown for both men. We also have ‘The Battle for Michigan' when J'Leon Love takes on his toughest test to date in Bronco McKart. It's a can't miss night for Detroit sports fans."
Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather Promotions
"This is an exciting opportunity for Mayweather Promotions and everyone knows Floyd Mayweather is from the great state of Michigan too. Detroit is tremendously important to boxing and we are excited to add to its history on February 23. In addition we feel extremely confident that our fighters, Ishe Smith and J'Leon Love, another Michigan man, will come away with victories, setting them both up for much bigger things in the near future."
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing
"Boxing fans are in for a real treat when Devon and Kell meet as they are two of the best 147 pounders in the business. Kell Brook is a special talent and has dreamt about this moment since he first laced up those gloves. He has trained like a man possessed and he is coming to America to make a huge statement and bring that title back to Britain."
Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports
"We are looking forward to another great night of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING featuring two world title fights in the boxing-rich city of Detroit. The event will showcase one of the most talented 147-pound fighters in the world, Devon Alexander, and the U.S. television debut of U.K. star Kell Brook as well as exciting undercard action."