Marcos Maidana may be a diehard fans' favorite, but it's Devon Alexander who has the oddsmakers in his favor tonight as he takes the hometown ring in St. Louis again for the welterweight fight, which is scheduled for ten rounds on HBO.
Alexander (22-1, 13 KO) has been inconsistent in recent performances. His loss last year to Timothy Bradley definitely wasn't pretty, but even more damning in the minds of many were his uneven performances in gift wins over Andriy Kotelnik and Lucas Matthysse, the bread of the Bradley fight sandwich. Bad Left Hook scored both fights clearly for the visiting fighter, but Alexander got the hometown nod in each fight, largely, it seemed, on the basis of a jab that did happen, but did not actually land.
Most are figuring Maidana's best bet tonight is to knock out Alexander. Maidana has never been a fan of going to the scorecards, but as Michael Nelson of The Cruelest Sport notes, the popular Argentine hasn't exactly been sterling since he beat Victor Ortiz in 2009, either, with his own string of inconsistent performances:
[H]is footwork is as flawed as his hands are caustic. Because of how often Maidana squares himself up, Demarcus Corley and Erik Morales–heavy underdogs against a far bigger, stronger man–very nearly pulled off upset victories. Meanwhile, Amir Khan and Andriy Kotelnik did manage to squeak out wins over the 28-year-old, because of their ability to bag early rounds while surviving a late surge.
Can Alexander do the same? These are two very flawed fighters, both moving up to 147 pounds, and this reads as a 50-50 fight to me in reality, probably 60-40 to Alexander because he's been the recipient of hometown favoritism in two of his last three fights.
Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of Maidana vs Alexander tonight at 10 p.m. EST, live on HBO (and Sky Sports is also carrying the fight live in the UK).