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Andre Berto-Devon Alexander lands Aug. 4 on Fox; Peter Quillin-J’Leon Love in co-feature

05
Jul

A crossroads fight between Andre Berto and Devon Alexander is finally official.

The bout, in the works for months but rumored to land on several different dates, will headline an Aug. 4 show on Long Island, New York, and televised on Fox, it was announced Thursday.

The matchup featuring former welterweight titleholders will position the winner for another crack at a belt down the line with the loser effectively finished as a world-class fighter.

“This is a great fight that has been a long time coming,” said Berto, 34, who last competed in April 2017 when he was stopped by Shawn Porter. “We share some common opponents, but we have different styles of fighting and styles make fights. I’ve had a lot of success with southpaws. I’m looking forward to seeing him in front of me and capitalizing on what I’m working on now.”

Berto (31-5, 24 knockouts) was once a fast-rising prospect lauded for his hand speed, power and athleticism, but since he famously earned seven figures to knock out the pedestrian Freddy Hernandez in only one round in 2010, his career’s taken a different turn.

He’s competed just nine times since then, with just four victories over that span. His latest win was a fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz in a rematch of their thrilling bout from 2011, with both men well past their best days. And in Alexander, Berto will face a fellow fighter who is past his prime.

“I’m very excited about this fight. Berto and I have history going back to the amateurs,” said Alexander, 31. “I know him very well, but we’ve never fought. I have to show that I’m still one of the best in a stacked division. This is all business for me, because at this point in my career, I’m approaching every fight as if it’s my last. This is prime time for me.

“My mentality is that Berto is still the killer that he was 10 years ago. So I’m looking at him like he’s lost nothing. I’ve got one mission, and that’s to beat Berto. I’ll be technically sound and 100 percent focused on accomplishing that task.”

Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) was riding high with consecutive victories over dangerous punching Argentines Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana when he suddenly suffered through a losing streak. Suddenly, he didn’t resemble the same quick-punching fighter who claimed titles in two weight classes.

When he was beaten by journeyman Aron Martinez, he was all but written off. But then Alexander revealed that he battled opioid addiction, and after a stint in rehab, he swore off painkillers.

The co-feature bout between Peter Quillin and J’Leon Love, similarly, is a fight between two men trying to get back on track. Quillin has competed just once since suffering the first pro loss of his career, a first round knockout to Daniel Jacobs in December 2015.

“I’m excited to be back at home in New York in front of my fans and people I love so dearly,” said Quillin (33-1-1, 23 KOs), who was a middleweight titleholder but is now competing at 168 pounds. “I’m coming back more polished and more seasoned and a man of God. I’ve definitely always been a guy who steps out and does what people think I can’t do.

“I know J’Leon is looking to make a splash. He needs a name on his resume. I have to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Either he’s going to have to learn a hard lesson or give me a hard lesson.”

Love (24-1-1, 13 KOs) was once a well-regarded prospect, but his career never took off as planned. A victory over “Kid Chocolate” would represent a career-best achievement, though, and would put him into position for bigger things at super middleweight.

“I think this is a really good matchup,” said Love. “Peter Quillin is a very talented fighter and a former world champion who is always in great shape. He’s someone you have to train very hard for and that you definitely cannot take lightly. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to fight a spectacular fighter like him. We’ll put on a great fight.”

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