Devon Alexander to fight June 25
Junior welterweight contenders Devon Alexander and Lucas Matthysse will square off June 25, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Matthysse's promoter, told ESPN.com on Friday night.
Although paperwork has yet to be signed, Schaefer said he made a deal with Don King, Alexander's promoter for the fight. Schaefer said he also came to terms with Matthysse.
"I made a deal with King and I made one also with my fighter, so we are in," Schaefer said.
King had already come to terms with Alexander, said Kevin Cunningham, Alexander's manager and trainer.
The HBO bout likely will take place in St. Louis, Alexander's hometown, according to Schaefer and Cunningham.
"This is one of those crossroads fights," Schaefer said. "The winner is right back in the mix at 140 pounds, which is one of the most exciting weight classes in boxing. Lucas Matthysse is always in exciting fights."
Alexander (21-1, 13 KOs) is coming off a disappointing performance in his 10th-round technical decision loss to Timothy Bradley in a 140-pound title unification fight on Jan. 29. HBO is contractually obligated to a seven-figure comeback fight for Alexander.
But he is not picking on an easy opponent. Matthysse (28-1, 26 KOs) is one of the biggest punchers in the weight class. He lost a tight split decision to Zab Judah in a title eliminator on HBO in November, but rebounded to knock out former titlist DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley in the eighth round Jan. 21.
"I think it will be a great fight," Cunningham said. "Matthysse is one of the most dangerous 140 pounders and these are the type of fights Devon wants. He knows he has to bounce back from the Bradley fight. He can't take some no-name opponent. He has to fight one of the top guys in the division and Matthysse is one of the most dangerous opponents we could have possibly chosen.
"If you want to be considered one of the best in your division, you have to fight the best guys in your division. That's what you have to do. Devon feels like he blew a great opportunity by not performing up to his potential against Bradley. He feels like Matthysse is a more dangerous fighter than Bradley. Bradley is no puncher and Matthysse is big puncher. Matthysse has punching ability and some skill."
Matthysse was also looking for a significant opponent, Schaefer said.
"Devon Alexander is a great young fighter, but things didn't really work out for him the Bradley fight," Schaefer said. "He's coming back against Matthysse, who many believe won the fight with Judah. For Devon Alexander to do a tune-up fight, that won't get him anywhere, and for Lucas Matthysse to do another tune-up fight, that won't get him anywhere either. He could have stayed in Argentina and had another tune-up fight, but he didn't want that. "He wanted a fight like this because he knows a win will increase his potential to be back in an even bigger fight."
Cunningham said Alexander has been running and would return to the gym on Monday, although his formal training camp will begin May 1 in Colorado Springs, Colo., a change of scenery from Las Vegas, where has trained for recent fights.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
- Stieglitz, Abraham to fight in March for 3rd time
- Burns-Crawford purse bid off as sides agree
- Malignaggi wins unanimous decision vs. Judah
- Rigondeaux decisions Agbeko to keep belts