Not long ago, Devon Alexander was a two-division world champion who boasted a 25-1 record and a reputation as a force at 147 pounds.
But after dropping two of his last three decisions, the St. Louis native now finds himself at a bit of a career crossroads. On October 14, Devon Alexander (26-3, 14 KOs) will begin trying to rebuild his reputation when he takes on Aron Martinez in a scheduled 10-round bout in Glendale, Arizona (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Alexander, who won world titles at 140 and 147 pounds, will be returning to the ring for first time since December, when he ended up on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Amir Khan in Las Vegas.
The 5-foot-9 southpaw’s only other fight in 2014 was a 10-round victory by unanimous decision over Jesus Soto Karass in June. That triumph came six months after Alexander, 28, was dethroned as 147-pound champ when he lost a unanimous decision to Shawn Porter.
“I’m very excited to return to the ring, and I’m anxious to show people that I’m still an elite fighter,” Alexander said. “This is a huge opportunity to be on prime time, and I’m going to make sure everything is in order at camp so I’m there 100 percent mentally and physically on fight night.”
Like Alexander, Martinez (19-4-1) enjoyed a very successful start to his career, only to fall into a bit of a funk lately. The Mexico-born, Los Angeles-based fighter started out 18-1-1, but has dropped three of his last four contests.
Most recently, the 33-year-old Martinez suffered a narrow 10-round, split-decision loss to Robert Guerrero on June 6. That came following a five-round TKO loss to Josesito Lopez in April 2014. Martinez has just one victory—an eight-round majority decision over Alberto Herrera—since mid-2012.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to fight on such a big stage against a great fighter in Devon Alexander,” Martinez said. “Arizona has a huge Mexican boxing community, and I look forward to the support from their terrific fans.”
Selby, 28, who hails from England, will carry a 17-fight winning streak into his U.S. debut. Meanwhile, Montiel will be looking for his ninth consecutive victory, the last eight coming in his homeland of Mexico.
“It’s been my dream since I was a young boy to win the world title and then to box in a major fight in the U.S.,” said Selby, whose last two victories came by knockout. “I have the upmost respect for Fernando Montiel. He’s a three-time world champion, and we all know over here in the U.K. how tough the Mexican fighters are.
“I know the U.S. fight fans appreciate the top fighters, and I am sure I can win them over on October 14 with my skill, style and technique.”
Said Montiel: “I am very happy to have an opportunity to win another world title. I am going to make the most of this and leave everything I have in the ring. I will leave that ring with Lee Selby’s belt and with the fans cheering my name.”