By James McKnight @JamesMcKnight83
|Can Purdy overpower Alexander 'The Great'?|
On May 18, at the Boardwalk hall arena in Atlantic city, New Jersey, USA, Colchester's Lee 'Lights Out' Purdy faces the biggest challenge of his professional career. He has to try and dethrone Devon Alexander 'The Great' in order to claim the IBF welterweight title.
Purdy (20-3-1, 13 KO's), stepped in at late notice to take this fight. His stablemate Kell Brook unfortunately injured his foot in training and was forced to pull out (the third time that Brook-Alexander had been called off).
This is the first time that Purdy will fight outside of the U.K. He travels to America to challenge Alexander for the IBF welterweight title and he faces a tough examination. He has never fought an opponent as skilful and talented as Alexander - who has also more experience on the World stage than Purdy's previous foes. Purdy has shone in domestic level bouts, but he has also lost three times to opponents who Alexander would dispose of with without much fuss.
Purdy, 25, has won his last four bouts inside the scheduled distance. He beat Argentinian Gumersindo Lucas Carrasco in September for the vacant IBF International belt, then defended it in March against Mexican Cosme Rivera. Purdy is currently ranked #4 with the IBF.
Alexander (24-1-0, 13 KO's), is from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, and he is a former WBC and IBF light-welterweight champion. He claimed the IBF 147lb title in October, defeating Randall Bailey on points, so he is defending the belt for the first time on May 18. Alexander, 26, is a slick southpaw who has faced more formidable opponents than Purdy. Lucas Martin Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, and as mentioned, Randall Bailey, have all failed to defeat Alexander 'The Great'. Alexander's only loss came back in January 2009 to Timothy Bradley.
Purdy's alias is 'Lights Out', but he is certainly no one-punch knockout artist. His record tells us this. What he has going for him in this fight is a no-fear attitude. He believes in himself, is hungry and is coming to fight for the full 12 rounds. He is coming to win and Alexander will know this. The American public have really no idea who Purdy is, so this will spur the Colchester Man on. This is Purdy's chance to shine and let the American public know just who he is. He could cause a major upset, but on the evidence of seeing both fighter's styles you really can see only one winner. Purdy will not give up. He has to take the fight to Alexander, aim to cut off the ring, close the gap, keep the pressure on and look to rough Alexander up. He cannot just go looking for that dynamite punch, but then again he may well just land one, so who knows.
I think Purdy will struggle against Alexander. I foresee Alexander looking to play it safe. I think he will fight on the outside, will not take too many risks and will win a comfortable unanimous decision on the scorecards.
If Purdy pulls this off, it will be one of the biggest upsets by a British fighter on American soil. The odds are stacked against him, but I would be delighted if Purdy wins!