After having trainer Kevin Cunningham in his corner throughout his entire career, Devon Alexander is now banking on former four-weight world champion Roy Jones, Jr. providing that extra lift to extend his career.
Alexander may not have many fights left in him, which makes his clash against former lightweight contender Ivan Redkach all the more interesting.
The two southpaw fighters will square off on June 1 at the Soboba Resort Casino in San Jacinto, California. The 10-round bout will headline a three-bout ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ telecast that will air live on FS1 and Fox Deportes (8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT).
Alexander (27-5-1, 14 knockouts), who resides in Saint Louis, Missouri, has not fought since losing by split-decision to Andre Berto on Aug. 4
The 32-year-old technician has lost four of his last seven fights over the last five-and-a-half years. His best days as a pro were actually at 140 pounds, where he won a vacant WBC title before losing it to Timothy Bradley in a unification fight in January 2011.
Alexander recently announced he made the switch to Roy Jones, Jr. to train him, a peculiar move considering Cunningham had trained Alexander since May 2004.
“As most people know, I’ve switched trainers to Roy Jones, Jr.,” said Alexander, who has faced and defeated Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, and Randall Bailey. “Roy has accomplished everything in this sport and he’s teaching me to have fun again. He’s also helping me balance my physical and mental game. I’m just excited to enter the ring with him in my corner and to fight my way back into world title contention.”
Besides the loss to Bradley, Alexander also lost decisions to Amir Khan and Shawn Porter.
Redkach (22-4-1, 17 KOs), who is originally from Ukraine and now resides in Los Angeles, has split his last six bouts. His losses came against Tevin Farmer, Argenis Mendez and, in an all-out war, John Molina. In his most recent outing, on Feb. 16, the 33-year-old knocked out Tyrone Harris in the opening round.
Although his best days were at 135 pounds, Redkach is confident that he can compete in the welterweight division.
“This fight is very important to me and I appreciate the opportunity to compete against a fighter like Devon Alexander,” said Redkach, who is trained by Jose Santa Cruz, trainer and father of featherweight titleholder Leo. “I am always in the gym and ready to fight, but I am also preparing mentally for the challenge ahead and to be at my very best.”
“Devon Alexander is a good fighter with a name people know, but after my performance on June 1, they will know me too.”
In a crossroads bout between middleweights, Hugo Centeno will face Willie Monroe, Jr. in a 10-round bout.
Centeno (27-2, 14 KOs), who resides in the boxing hotbed of Oxnard, rebounded from his crushing loss to Jermall Charlo on Apr. 21 of last year to win by technical decision in his last bout on Feb. 16.
Monroe (23-3, 6 KOs) defeated Javier Maciel in his last bout on Aug. 24. The Rochester, New York resident has won his last two outings, since losing a decision to Billy Joe Saunders in September 2017.
In the opening bout of the telecast, hard-hitting heavyweight Onoriode Ehwarieme (17-0, 16 KOs) of Nigeria will square off against San Jose’s Rodney Hernandez (12-7-2, 3 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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