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Devon Alexander vs. Juan Urango Fight Preview and Prediction

Devon Alexander vs. Juan Urango Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, March 6th, 2010
Where: Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
TV: HBO 9:30 EST
Weight Class: Unified IBF/WBC Light Welterweight Championship: 12 Rounds

By Scotty L of

Devon Alexander, WBC Light Welterweight Champion, 19-0 (12 KOs), St. Louis. Missouri Vs. Juan Urango, IBF Light Welterweight Champion, 22-2 (17 KOs), Monteria, Colombia

Fight Odds: Devon Alexander (-450), Juan Urango (+300)
Over/Under Rounds: Over 11.5 (-155), Under 11.5 (+115)

Analysis: Finally, a fight not on Pay Per View! Devon Alexander and Juan Urango will fight for the unified WBC/IBF Light Welterweight Championships on HBO this Saturday. The light welterweight class has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance lately and these men need a win here to stay relevant in the unforgiving boxing landscape. Tim Bradley is considered the No. 1 guy in the division, but there are many other fighters at and around the weight that could make this weight class one of the best for years to come. Of course, Alexander and Urango both want in on the action.

There is a lot riding on this fight. The winner poises himself for any number of lucrative possibilities. Among them are an outside shot to fight Manny Pacquiao is he ever returns to 140 lbs. or perhaps a big money fight with a comebacking Ricky Hatton. British superstar Amir Khan is in the picture, as well as the aforementioned Tim Bradley. One should expect both men to be fighting with urgency and hunger.

There is no secret about these fighterís styles. Alexander is a thoroughbred, a graceful boxer with a long and decorated amateur career. He looks to use his skills. Urango tries to get inside and bang away with his power shots. Boasting of an enormously strong and muscular upper-body, Urango is capable of generating tremendous power.

Alexander is the more advanced of the two, having lost only ten of his over 300 amateur bouts and undefeated as a pro. He is a boxer who pays attention to the finer points. He moves cleverly and attacks with good form and finesse. Urango, conversely, has not really acquired much skill during his career. He is ultra-durable and strong, but he lacks some of the subtle skills that would make him a more successful pro.

This is not to imply that Urango has not had success. In his last fight, he bombed out veteran Randall Bailey and also holds wins over contenders Herman Ngoudjo and Leva Kirakosyan. His only losses were to undefeated Ricky Hatton and Andre Berto. For a fighter with such a lack of the advanced skills we have come to expect from top practitioners, he hasnít done so badly.

Devon Alexander really flew under the radar until recently. Normally there would be more hype surrounding such a blue-chip amateur with an unbeaten streak in the pros. But until he beat Junior Witter for the vacant WBC title in August, he was virtually unknown. The win forced observers to take notice. Witter was expected to be competitive, but was never in the fight. He seemed disinterested and gave off the impression of a fighter who had reached the end of the line.

Witter is Devonís best win. Urango backers might feel that Alexanderís resume lacks the evidence that would suggest he should be a Ė450 favorite. Thatís not a bad point. If we assume Alexander is not as good as Ricky Hatton was and Andre Berto is, itís not so difficult to imagine Urango being competitive with him. Personally, I feel the line is too wide and I feel Urango has a better chance of winning than the odds suggest. For bettors who like value, there have been worse 3-1 underdog picks than Urango in this spot.

Prediction: Despite the odds being a little inflated, Iím still picking Alexander. The feeling here is that heís a good young fighter with excellent skills. There is a certain dullness to him and nothing that jumps out and screams greatness, but you donít have to be Sugar Ray Robinson to outbox Urango. Iíve never seen Alexander get hit with anything resembling the kind of shots Urango is capable of dishing out, so Iím taking a small leap-of-faith on the chin issue. After all, untested young fighters like the 23 year-old Alexander have been exposed in the past by far less menacing punchers than Urango.

In the end, I see Alexander having enough skills and resolve to offset the crude Urango. Alexander should win 8-9 rounds, survive a few anxious moments, and cruise home the unanimous decision winner. Lay the Ė450 on Devon Alexander to win.

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