RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (June 23, 2009)—World Boxing Council No. 1-ranked super lightweight Devon Alexander “The Great” will fight for the vacant WBC super lightweight championship against the former holder of that belt, Junior “The Hitter” Witter, in a tremendous co-feature on Saturday, Aug. 1 at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (SHOWTIME 9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). In an interesting twist, Witter lost this title on May 10, 2008, to undefeated Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs), who will defend his World Boxing Organization 140-pound crown against former unified lightweight world champion Nate “Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell (33-5-1, 25 KOs) in the main event on this card. In a world title unification, Bradley defeated Kendall Holt on April 4 to capture the WBO belt. Less than a month later, Bradley chose to voluntarily relinquish the WBC strap that Alexander and Witter will be vying for..
“I just found out a few days ago that I’ll be in my first world championship match against Junior Witter on Aug. 1,” Alexander said. “I am so thrilled to be fighting for a world title and against Witter, a fighter I respect. He’s already had the title we’re fighting for, and I feel like it’s my turn now. I’m not stopping my undefeated run for anyone. I’ll never have a chance at the biggest fights in the world against Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao unless I win this.”
The promising Alexander (18-0, 11 KOs) is the most highly touted fighter to come out of St. Louis since four-time world champion Cory Spinks. The 22-year-old Alexander is a stablemate of Spinks and has fought as a pro exclusively under the guidance of longtime Spinks’ longtime trainer Kevin Cunningham.
“This is a terrific opportunity for Devon,” Cunningham said. “He’s been preparing for this moment since he was 8 years old when I heard him say he wanted to fight for the ‘green belt’ of the WBC. Now he’s the mandatory challenger. We look forward to bringing home another world championship to the American Gateway City of St. Louis.”
In another sign of stability, legendary boxing promoter Don King remains as Alexander’s only promoter. He signed Alexander after Cunningham brought the boxer to his attention while the young phenom was still in high school.
“I saw something special in Devon from the beginning,” King said. “He doesn’t drink, smoke or take drugs. He takes care of his body. His smile lights up a room. He’s also a great role model for young people. I can’t say enough good things about this talented young man.
“Now he has received an opportunity in the land of opportunity and he plans to make the most of it. Those in attendance at Agua Caliente and watching across America on Showtime are going to see a very special young fighter win his first world title.”
Alexander has stopped 11 of his 18 opponents, including the last three in a row. The only areas he must concede to his opponent are those pertaining to age and experience.
The 35-year-old Witter(37-2-2, 22 KOs), a Brit who is making his second start in the United States, has only lost twice in his long career. Besides Bradley last year, the only other person to beat Witter was then-unbeaten IBF 140-pound champion Zab “Super” Judah in 2000.
The event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Don King Productions and Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa. Tickets go on sale July 3, at 10 a.m. (PT) and will be available for purchase online at www.HotWaterCasino.com/TheShow or by calling (800) 585-3737.
Opened in February 2009, The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa is the ultimate in luxury entertainment. With just over 2,000 seats and excellent sight lines, guests can get up-close and personal with the world’s finest entertainers and athletes. The Show also features 12 VIP boxes with gourmet catering and private bars. Right outside, Agua Caliente offers 24/7 gaming and a gorgeous, 340-room hotel, plus spa and resort. For more information, visit HotWaterCasino.com.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein will call the action with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.
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