Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Devon Alexander overcomes personal demons, returns to the ring tonight in Florida.
Former world Welterweight champion Devon Alexander returns to the ring tonight after a two year spell away from the sport when he takes on tough Walter Castillo 26-4-1 on a Warriors boxing promotion at the St Pete Coliseum, in St Petersburg Florida.. The St Louis southpaw’s return is a remarkable one, considering the personal demons he’s had to contend with over the last 5 years.. Back in 2012 whilst preparing to face Marcos Maidana, Alexander suffered a nose injury, following a head clash in sparring. Devon insisted that the injury wasn’t severe enough to postpone the fight so all went ahead as usual, Alexander winning a wide decision.. Soon after the bout, trainer Kevin Cunningham noticed that the swelling was still evident, and upon medical examination a blood clot was discovered and surgically removed.. Cunningham thought that the issue was sorted.. Over the next few months the trainer noticed that Devon wasn’t himself, his reflexes appeared shot and his fitness was poor.. Alexander assured Cunningham that everything was fine but by the instructions of Al Haymon, Devon was sent to be checked out more thoroughly, first at the Cleveland clinic, then secondly by the Mayo clinic, both examinations revealed nothing.. Over the next two years Alexander went on to lose his world title to Shawn Porter, then drop a unanimous decision to Amir Khan before losing to Rank underdog Aaron Martinez strengthening Cunningham’s claims that something was amiss..
An ultimatum was issued by Cunningham, that he would never work with his fighter until he got to the bottom of the mystery, forcing a desperate Alexander to come clean.. Devon had become addicted to painkillers that he’d been prescribed for the nose injury back in 2012.. Alexander checked into a rehabilitation unit soon after and has been clean ever since, accrediting boxing and his family as his motivation for his swift recovery.. Alexander now based at Cunningham's new training facility in Florida insists that he is back to his best form.. Win, lose or draw, his story is remarkable and goes to show how even the most disciplined of athletes can become victims of substance abuse.. Devon last held a version of the Welterweight title back in 2013, his record stands at 26-4 (14 Ko’s)