By Jackie Kallen
It’s a toss-up as to which 12-round fight is going to be more exciting on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Devon Alexander/Lee Purdy is going to be good, but it’s the Lamont Peterson/ Lucas Martin Matthysse that could end up stealing the spotlight.
Devon Alexander – Photo: Hogan Photos
Although Lamont Peterson is a terrific boxer with an impressive 31-1- record, it is the hard-slamming Argentinian Matthysse who holds the key to this fight. His 86% KO stats are hard to compete against. Ask my fighter Mike Dallas,Jr. He didn’t get out of the first round against Matthysse in January.
Both Devon Alexander and Zab Judah were able to squeak out close split decision wins over Matthysse, but both tasted the canvas before getting the W. Will Peterson be able to withstand the barrage of power and outbox him?
Matthysse is, of course, hoping that Peterson will go toe-to-toe with him in a brawl. That’s his favorite style of fighting. It’s when an opponent moves and boxes a lot that he tends to get a bit frustrated. If Peterson is smart, he will dance circles around Matthysse and steal rounds.
Although neither man has his title at stake and the fight will be at a catch weight of 141, it is still a great match-up. I am a fan of both men, but I give a slight edge to the South American. If he gets to a man early, it’s all over.
Devon Alexander was originally going to fight Kell Brook in January in LA. Brook got injured and they put it off a month and moved it to Detroit. This time Alexander suffered a strained a bicep so it was moved again to May 18 in AC. Now it is a stress fracture in Brook’s right foot that KOed the match. But it became a lucky opportunity for Lee Purdy.
Golden Boy was looking for a replacement for Brook, and Purdy’s name popped up. The Essex boxer is 23 years old and hungry. He has a record of 20-3-1 and has never fought outside the UK. He found this title fight to be an offer he could not refuse. Opportunity knocked and Purdy opened the door.
Can he beat the 26 year-old southpaw from St. Louis? Doubtful. Alexander’s only loss was to Timothy Bradley in 2011. He has beaten Matthysse, Randall Bailey and Maidana. He is smart enough not to overlook Purdy and will be gunning for him because no fighter likes to lose to a last-minute replacement.
I am going with Alexander.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen