GREATNESS CONFIRMED: Young St. Louis star Devon Alexander fulfilled a dream he had as a seven-year-old boxing prodigy by capturing the WBC junior welterweight crown last week.
THE CHAMP AND THE KING: Newly crowned WBC junior middleweight champion Devon Alexander is congratulated by his promoter Don King last week in Rancho Mirage.
Photos by David Martin Warr for Don King Productions
Alexander ‘The Great’ Standing Alone
Pride of St. Louis boxing stable captures WBC title against all odds
By Kenneth Miller
Sentinel Managing Editor
Devon Alexander is always smiling. If you didn’t know him and his circumstances you would think that he had just won the lottery. He’s like a kid in a candy store.
Last week the 22-year old Alexander captured the prestigious WBC 140 pound junior welterweight championship with an impressive victory over Junior Witter.
After Witter refused to answer the bell for the 10th round, quitting on his stool in the ninth, and the dream of the kid with the Kool Aid smile was finally realized.
Then he cried and cried and cried.
You see, for Alexander to just be merely alive is something to smile about. Where he grew up in the turbulent neighborhoods of St. Louis, just staying alive is an accomplishment within itself.
He began boxing at the age of seven and was one of 20 fighters under the shield of former police officer Kevin Cunningham.
From the 20, 10 are in prison and the other nine are dead. Devon Alexander is the last one standing.
He is a refreshing tale in a sport that was dominated by aura of Mike Tyson and the darling appeal of Oscar De La Hoya.
He doesn’t drink or smoke, does not party or frequent strip clubs. His life is the sport of boxing. Cunningham never has to worry about where Alexander is.
Often Cunningham has to tell Alexander to take a break from the sport.
However, for Alexander he needs only remember his other 19 pals to took time away from the sport and see what happened to them, one being his own brother who is serving a 14-year prison stint.
In improving his record to 19-0 (12 KO’s) with a sound, but not spectacular performance, Alexander has thrust himself into the star status that was reserved for his stable mate and friend IBF Junior Middleweight champion Cory Spinks who was in attendance.
Spinks, from the famous Spinks family which often became the subject of jokes due his toothless father Leon, has had his own demons outside the ring, but is so gifted that he had managed to keep rising to the top.
Young Alexander has no such shortcomings, and the big question now is what is next for him.
His promoter Don King, who has nurtured and developed some of boxing greatest champions during their prime has brought Alexander alone slowly, if your would call winning a title at 22 and just 19 fights slowly.
“I think the sky is the limit for this young man. He has it all great skills, a tremendous attitude, character inside and outside of the ring, he could become one of the truly great ones,” said his promoter Don King.
Down in ‘Tha Lou’ as St. Louis is passionately called, they are waiting for Alexander ‘The Great” to come home with that green belt.
They are waiting for him with open arms, to show him how much they love him, and they thank God that Devon Alexander is the last one standing, for they know he will represent them like ‘The Great’ that he is.