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Khan vs Alexander: 5 Reasons to Watch Tonight's Fights

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Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, and Keith Thurman are in action tonight, looking to showcase why they deserve to fight Floyd Mayweather. It's 5 Reasons to Watch!

Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Tonight is a night of competing boxing broadcasts. Over on HBO, you've got the Tim Bradley vs Diego Chaves card, a triple-header, starting at 10:00 pm EST. Showtime will start early, with fights on SHO Extreme starting at 7:00 pm EST, and a four-fight main card headlined by Amir Khan and Devon Alexander going live at 9:00 pm EST.

So what do you do? It's 2014, so you'll probably DVR one, and watch the other live, or DVR both while jumping between the two shows. If you don't have a DVR, like if you live in the sticks or whatever, or you're otherwise unable to somehow watch both shows, then don't worry! BLH has you covered tonight, as we'll have full live coverage for each event.

We already talked about five good reasons to watch Bradley-Chaves, so let's do five for this show, too.

1. If Khan wins, Mayweather really could be next

It's a story as old as time at this point, that if Amir Khan can just win this next fight, he's right in line for a big money fight with Floyd Mayweather. Khan (29-3, 19 KO) has said time and time again that he feels he has the speed, youth, and style to give an aging Mayweather serious problems, and beat him. But he's never quite gotten there, either.

Khan had this chance a year ago. A fight with Devon Alexander (26-2, 14 KO) was on the table for December 2013. On advisement, Khan turned it down, choosing to not take a risk ahead of what then seemed a likely May 2014 clash with Floyd. Instead, Alexander lost to Shawn Porter, and then Marcos Maidana made a big statement with a win over Adrien Broner. In the end, Maidana wound up fighting Floyd two times in 2014, while Khan found himself facing Luis Collazo on the first Mayweather-Maidana undercard.

That was the last time we saw Amir. Alexander came back with a June win over veteran battler Jesus Soto Karass, and now, in December 2014, we're getting the Khan-Alexander fight that was set for a year ago. The stakes, more or less, are the same. If Floyd Mayweather doesn't fight Manny Pacquiao, and doesn't pull some sort of backdoor deal for a rematch with Miguel Cotto, then Amir Khan would make the most sense of the available options -- as long as he wins. And that's never a true given with Amir Khan, whose talent has been betrayed by his chin twice in high-profile fights.

2. What about Devon Alexander?

Alexander is being all but ignored in the lead-up to this fight. Maybe it's because he lost to Shawn Porter last year. Maybe it's because two of his bigger wins -- over Andriy Kotelink and Lucas Matthysse -- are thought by so many to be robberies. Maybe it's because even though there's really nothing to dislike about Devon, he rarely stands out as a true top fighter, either.

Alexander was once the No. 2 man at 140 pounds, then he lost to Tim Bradley, and the way he lost -- quitting with a cut on his eyelid -- didn't win any supporters. Whether that's fair or not, Alexander's career has been a bit up and down ever since. He's had legitimate success (he beat Marcos Maidana easier than Floyd Mayweather did either time), and the setback against Porter, which followed a series of canceled dates with Kell Brook.

He's just been on the outside of looking in, it seems, of the major stuff happening in the sport's most notable weight class. So what if Devon upsets Amir Khan? First of all, would it really be that big of an upset? And second of all, would Alexander -- dangled as a distraction during the Mayweather-Guerrero negotiations -- then be in line to face Floyd?

3. Keith Thurman will try to make his case

Keith "One Time" Thurman is also interested in fighting Floyd Mayweather, and will try to make a statement good enough against Leonard Bundu, the reigning European welterweight champion. Some who have seen Bundu (31-0-2, 11 KO) in action believe Thurman may get a bigger test than anticipated, but on paper, Thurman has the edge in power and youth. Bundu, 40, is a solid boxer, but the smart money is on Thurman's power.

With respect to Bundu, if Thurman wins this fight, he still won't have a true marquee win over a top welterweight. He's calling out Floyd Mayweather aggressively, and it makes for good publicity for the 26-year-old budding star, but he hasn't even faced a 2012 Andre Berto or 2013 Adrien Broner yet. Those are the fights that landed Robert Guerrero and Marcos Maidana their fights with Floyd. They weren't world-beating wins, either, but they made a major splash.

So far, Thurman's splashiness has come via his confidence when there's a microphone in front of him, and his potential, not so much what he's achieved. This is an exciting young fighter, easy to like, fun to watch. But is he on the road to Mayweather? He might be, but he's significantly behind Amir Khan -- or at least it appears that way right now.

4. There are people on the undercard

Abner Mares and Jermall Charlo will feature on the main Showtime card, and Jermell Charlo and Errol Spence are in action on Showtime Extreme. The Charlo twins are right on the cusp of title shots and all that, and Mares is a former three-division champ. But Spence might be the best reason to tune in. The 2012 Olympian is arguably the best of the U.S. prospects to come out of that team, at least thus far as a pro, as he's been very impressive to date, and has already been tested in a ten-round fight. His fight tonight is set for eight rounds, against puncher journeyman Javier Castro (27-7, 22 KO).

Mares will face Jose Ramirez (25-4, 15 KO), who hasn't fought since a loss to Vasyl Lomachenko in Lomachenko's pro debut; Jermall Charlo will take on Lenny Bottai (22-2, 9 KO), a 37-year-old Italian; and Jermell will be up against Mario Lozano (28-5, 22 KO).

5. Victor Ortiz

This dude managed to get into a violent shoving match at the weigh-in for a Showtime Extreme bout that most people seem to forget is even happening. Victor Ortiz is the wildest of wild cards, a screw-loose son of a gun who might do damn near anything at any time. Ortiz has this weird idea that he's some global superstar and that he's improving his "brand," but he's also a pretty irrelevant fighter at the moment. The former WBC welterweight titleholder hasn't won a fight since beating Andre Berto in April 2011, and in his last fight, he was stomped by Luis Collazo in just three rounds.

Ortiz, 27, is big on the idea of rebuilding himself, but this is a lot of rebuilding to be doing. The opponent is Manuel Perez (22-10-1, 4 KO), a tough journeyman fighter who has given some tough looks to the likes of Paul McCloskey, Vernon Paris, Anton Novikov, and Diego Magdaleno. His career as a professional opponent has taken him from featherweight to welterweight, and the only man to ever stop him is Ortiz's old real life rival, Brandon Rios. He can't punch, but he's not a total pushover, either.

Ortiz might rip him early. Ortiz might have a mental breakdown and start headbutting everyone in sight or punching every testicle in the ringside area. Ortiz might get hit with a couple good shots and fold. We have no idea how much Victor Ortiz wants to actually be in a boxing ring anymore, or how much he's just considering his "brand" by fighting again.