26 February 2012
HBO featured two of the top young American fighters in Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander. They both won in impressive fashion. So what's next for these fighters?
Adrien Broner stopped Eloy Perez at 2:24 of the fourth round to retain his WBO junior lightweight title. Broner (23-0, 19 KO's) was clearly the bigger man from and used his size and speed to dominate Eloy Perez. Perez, now (23-1-2, 7 KOs) is no slouch. This is a quality win over a quality opponent. With two straight rights the landscape at junior lightweight is once again changing.
It is still to be seen whether Broner is going to move in to 135 where there are many fights to be made. There may be no reason to stay at 130. The remaining top fighters in the division have little name recognition (Takashi Uchiyama and Juan Carlos Burgos anyone?).
Remember, the lightweight division is stacked: Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, Gamboa etc. However, I see Broner and his team, who have been conservative so far in his young career, to defend his title once more or take a relatively easier fight while moving up.
Possible upcoming opponents: (135) John Molina, (135) Ricky Burns, (135) Vincente Escobedo, (130) Roman Martinez, (130) Juan Carlos Burgos.
Devon Alexander made his debut at 147 a successful one with a 10-round UD over Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana. Alexander, fighting in his hometown St. Louis, improved to (23-1, 13KO's) while Maidana is now 31-3.
Alexander has now won two straight matches against Argentine fighters since his first loss at the hands of Timothy Bradley.
Alexander looked terrific at 147lbs. While I was impressive by Alexander’s handling of Maidana. I wouldn't be so excited about his neutralization of Maidana's power. Remember, they are both essentially still JWW fighting at a higher weight class.
Many think that Alexander will be fighting for a welterweight belt soon. The easiest route will be the WBA Vyacheslv Senchenko (who has an April 29th defense against Paulie Malignaggi) or the recently vacated IBF, by Andre Berto, Mike Jones vs. Randall Bailey winner (scheduled for June 9th). There is also a nightmare scenario fight in my mind: a Timothy Bradley rematch.
Possible upcoming opponents: Vyacheslv Senchenko, Paulie Malignaggi, Mike Jones, Randall Bailey, Timothy Bradley.