Devon Alexander: ‘Losing isn’t an option anymore’
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Devon Alexander doesn’t believe that his toughest fight was against Amir Khan, or Shawn Porter, or Timothy Bradley. Yeah, they beat him.
“But not because of something they did,” Alexander said. “It was because of what I did.”
His toughest foe, he says, has been that guy he sees looking back at him in the mirror every day. In the immediate aftermath of his loss to Khan last December, he didn’t recognize the emerging young fighter he once was. Instead, he said he saw a stranger distracted from the craft that once had been the source of so much satisfaction.
He forgot how to have fun, he said.
Forgot how to win, too
“I needed to get my mind right, make sure that losing isn’t an option anymore,” Alexander said.
About 10 months after the Khan defeat, Alexander (26-3, 14 knockouts) resumes his career Wednesday against Aron Martinez (19-4-1, 4 KOs) of Mexico in an ESPN-televised bout (6 p.m PT/9 p.m. ET) scheduled for 10 rounds on a Premier Boxing Champions card at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, confident he has emerged from his personal battle with only victory as an option.
“Sometimes you just have to re-focus, re-program, to remind yourself what’s important and what’s not,” Alexander said after a brief workout Monday at Central Boxing in downtown Phoenix.
Alexander would not talk about specific distractions, but he conceded they began to accumulate in the wake of world titles at 147 and 140 pounds.
“Success can do that,” said Alexander, who faces Martinez in the main event on a card that also features an intriguing featherweight but between IBF champion Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) of the U.K. against Fernando Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KOs) of Mexico. “But you have to make sure that boxing is first and all that other stuff is last.”
Alexander, of St. Louis, also says he wants to fight his way into the pound-for-pound debate. The generation defined by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is moving on, the 28-year-old welterweight said.
“Who are the next elite fighters?” said Alexander, who said he intends to be one of them. “I haven’t been fighting since I was 7 years old for nothing.”