Saturday will be an important day for several fighters looking to get their name back in the limelight. Lamont Peterson and Devon Alexander, two fighters who have seen their stock fall recently, need to win in a big way.
Both will be in action on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Both bouts will be carried live on SHOWTIME.
Alexander (24-1), the IBF welterweight champion, will put his title on the line against Lee Purdy. Alexander was originally set to fight Kell Brook, but that fight fell through for the third time after Brook got hurt.
Alexander, although a solid fighter with several strong recent wins over Randall Bailey, Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, has yet to capture the boxing world’s fancy. His big loss to Tim Bradley in 2011 contributed to the lack of fanfare he’s received the last two years.
He’ll get a chance to get back in the good graces of boxing if he can put on a good show against Purdy.
"‘Finally’ is the key word here,” said Alexander. “My fight with Kell Brook was postponed three times. I was supposed to fight him many times, but now I'm fighting Lee Purdy who's a very suitable opponent for me.”
Alexander was rumored to be on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s short list for a bout in September. Alexander doesn’t seem to be concerned with that now.
"I'm ready. It doesn't matter what Lee Purdy is going to bring Saturday night,” added Alexander. “He's in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm ready to fight. I've been ready to fight…This fight will lead to bigger and better things with SHOWTIME."
As for Peterson (31-1), it’s been a rough year and a half. He didn’t receive a lot of credit for his win over Amir Khan in December, 2011, because of the way it ended –Khan had a point taken away from him in the 12th round. Khan also accused Peterson’s camp of interfering with the judges’ scoring of the bout.
The WBA ordered a rematch after examining video of the alleged interference. The rematch with Khan was canceled after Peterson tested positive for steroids. Peterson, who won both the IBF and WBA junior welterweight titles, was allowed to keep his IBF belt, however, because the level of testosterone found in his samples was believed to be consistent with therapeutic usage.
Peterson was then set to fight Zab Judah, but that never came to fruition. He instead fought and defeated Kendall Holt after 14 months off last February. Peterson will step into the ring and defend his IBF title against Matthysse on Saturday.
Like Alexander, Peterson was quick to thank Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME for giving him a chance to shine.
"I'm looking forward to a great fight this weekend,” Peterson said. “This is a great card. I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for signing me. This is our first fight and I think we're going to do great things together.”