Boxing


This Saturday - Alexander-Urango: Southpaw Vs. Southpaw

by James Slater - In what is arguably the biggest title fight taking place this coming Saturday night, light-welterweights Devon Alexander and Juan Urango will clash in a unification bout in Uncasville, Connecticut. A good, solid match-up, March 6th's winner will walk away with both the IBF and WBC belts at 140-pounds. But just who will this winner be?

Both men are southpaws, with "Iron Twin" and current IBF boss Urango being a fighter who comes at an opponent with a more square on approach, and both men are coming off impressive victories.. Unbeaten at 19-0(12), WBC king Alexander forced former titlist Junior Witter to remain on his stool after the 8th-round back in August, in the fight where "Alexander The Great" won his title, while the 22-2-1(17) Urango got off the floor for the first time in his career to eventually stop KO Artist Randall Bailey in the 11th-round of a thriller, also back in August.

Going by the recent form of both men, then, it's pretty tough to pick a definite victor. Both are lefties, as I've said, both fighters have been active recently, so no ring-rust will apply in this one either way, and both men carry with them the confidence a boxer acquires when becoming a world champion - and, again showing what an even-looking match-up this fight is, both guys have identical measurements in height and reach!. The only possible advantage on paper may be age, with St. Louis' Alexander being only 23 compared to 29 for the Colombian hard man.

Of course, one advantage that cannot be seen merely by looking at the stats of the two men, is the fact that Alexander is by far the better, more skilful boxer. Urango can be crude at times and he can be clearly out-boxed (see his May 2009 loss to Andre Berto up at 147), and it's almost certain Alexander will use a box-and-move approach on Saturday, as opposed to standing and trading with the powerful, rock-chinned warrior.

Urango may well say the loss to Berto came about as much because it was fought up at welterweight, and that he is a stronger fighter down at 140, but the fact is the reigning WBC welterweight champ was too fast, too smart and too polished for him. This could happen to Urango all over again against Alexander. But, as we know, as well as being a touch crude, Urango has that great chin (dented only that one time, by Bailey) and he also has, when the mood suits him, the ability to land an absolute bomb (see his brutal KO of Carlos Vilches back in 2008).

Still a new champion - whereas Urango has now reigned twice - Alexander has to pass this acid test of a fight to reach the levels of stardom many think he is capable of reaching. Of the two men, I'd say there is more pressure on Alexander than there is on Urango's broad shoulders.

Urango is and probably always will be dangerous, and if he lands flush on Alexander's still somewhat untested chin, it could be lights out for the younger man. However, if he boxes the smart fight we all know he can, Alexander should keep his chin out of harms way, win the lion's share of the points by hitting and moving, and go home with a fairly wide decision win. And, of course, both the WBC and the IBF light-welterweight titles!

Article posted on 01.03.2010



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