As the buzz about the 140-pound weight class accelerates, one boxer may have the best perspective about who is the best right now. It’s Miguel Callist who has been in the ring with both Marcos Maidana and Devon Alexander.
Callist, the former WBA # 1 Lightweight contender from Colon, Panama, boxed Marcos Maidana in Buenos Aires in December of 2006 in a WBA 140 Eliminator and the WBA Fedelatin Light Welterweight title.
Of the experience, the now 35-year-old Callist recalls: “This kid is a bull, man. I hit him with a shot in the third round – I thought I hurt him. But he became more strong. This kid is very tough. I don’t know why, man, this kid is very, very, very tough.” Maidana ended up stopping Callist by TKO in the third.
Then two years later in March 2008, Callist met Devon Alexander in St. Louis for the WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight title. He lost by unanimous decision over 12 rounds and was highly impressed by the young American. “He’s very committed to the boxing game. He’s a very disciplined guy and he’s very focused on his training. And that’s why I think he’s one of the best fighters in this division and one of the top fighters in the world – pound for pound. Hell yeah. I think the guy can beat Pacquiao.
He would give Mayweather a hard fight, but not beat him. You know why? You see Andre Berto fight Urango – hard fight. You see this kid fight Urango – make him look like nothing. This kid is very dedicated, he trains every day. He don’t play. He’s like Bernard Hopkins. I think this kid can beat Pacquiao and maybe one day Mayweather. One day maybe people will see him like that.”
Of course, Callist suspects that being promoted by Don King could be a reason why Alexander has been somewhat held back from attaining the deserved marquee fights, so far. “Everybody knows what Don King does. The reason he’s not getting any big fights is because Don King wants to be on top of everybody. He don’t like to make a deal even with people. Don is the type of guy, if you let him take it, he take it. Or if you don’t let him take it, he also take it.”
Of a potential Alexander vs. Maidana clash of titans, Callist is pretty sure of how it would play out. “If Alexander box the way he box Urango, I think he’ll beat him easily. But if he stay toe to toe with Maidana, I think Maidana will finish him in five-six rounds. I think Alexander will want to box with him, outbox him, be more smart.”
As if his point has not been made, the well-spoken and intelligent Callist reinforces it voluntarily. “Devon Alexander is the best of the best, I’m telling you. He beat anybody. You see Tim Bradley don’t want to fight. Nobody want to fight him. Nobody want to fight Maidana or Alexander. Why I fight ’em? Because I’m a real fighter. I learned that from Roberto Duran, who fought Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Hagler, everybody. I want to fight Kotelnik next. Or if they want to give me a chance with Kendall Holt, and if I beat him I might go to top 10 again. So I’ll do my best.”
Callist, a southpaw, is the former WBA Lightweight title challenger (he lost by TKO 5 to Lavka Sim in 2004) and has a record of 24-7-1 with 17 KO’s. He currently resides in Jersey City, NJ and also expresses interest in doing TV commentary in the future.