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 Kevin Cunningham "Devon is moving up in weight" ESPN/Rafael

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PostSubject: Kevin Cunningham "Devon is moving up in weight" ESPN/Rafael   Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:32 pm

Per Dan Rafael at ESPN:

Devon Alexander moving up in weightEmailPrintCommentsBy Dan Rafael
Former junior welterweight titlist Devon Alexander, who edged Lucas Matthysse on a split decision Saturday night, is moving up in weight.

"That's our last fight at 140," Kevin Cunningham, Alexander's manager and his trainer since he first began boxing as a young boy, told on Monday. "He's killing himself so bad to make the weight. After six rounds, his legs aren't there because he killed himself to make 140. He's been making 140 pounds since he was 15 and an amateur. Now he's a 24-year-old man."

Although Alexander got the close decision, Matthysse knocked him down for the first time in his career in the fourth round and had Alexander in trouble late in the fight at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., where Alexander lives. St. Charles is a suburb of St. Louis, where Alexander grew up.

Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs), a power puncher from Argentina, stalked Alexander, who was clearly slowing down in the late going of their 10-round fight. Two judges had it for Alexander, 96-93 and 95-94, while the third judge had it 96-93 for Matthysse, whose only two losses are both by split decision to Americans fighting in their home region. He also lost a split decision to Zab Judah in November in Newark, N.J.

"Devon didn't look strong in these last few fights by the mid-rounds," Cunningham said, referencing Saturday's fight plus Alexander's first career loss in a title unification fight versus Timothy Bradley Jr. in January and his unanimous decision win against former titlist Andriy Kotelnik last August.

"Devon never used to weaken in these fights. He didn't weaken in the (world title) fights with Junior Witter or (Juan) Urango. For those fights, he would get down to 146 and hit a wall at like 145 or 146. It took him a week and a half to get past 145, but he did it. For this fight with Matthysse, he got to 146 and he couldn't get past it. It took a few weeks and he finally broke through, but it took a lot. A lot.

"I can't keep putting my fighter at a disadvantage. He's gotta move up. We're taking off all this weight and there's no fat, so he's been taking off muscle."

Cunningham said the only way Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) would consider another fight at junior welterweight was "if it was something really big, because he ain't fighting no more fights at 140. He can't make 140 no more, so 147, here we come."

Cunningham already has an opponent in mind -- former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi, who moved up in weight last year but is on the shelf recovering from a hand injury suffered in his last fight.

"Our first up at 147, we'd like to fight Malignaggi," Cunningham said. "I think it would be a great fight. Paulie's already talking s--- about Devon, so there's some bad blood already."

Cunningham said there was no timetable for Alexander's return, however. Alexander plans to take some time off after the bruising fight.

Also, Alexander's promotional contract with Don King expired following the fight, so before he returns to the ring, Cunningham said they will be listening to offers.

"The contract with King is over and we're free to talk to whoever we want to talk to," Cunningham said. "So we'll take a little break and then sit down and see what happens. We'll see what the best direction is for Devon to go in and then we'll start talking to people."

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