IBF welterweight boss Devon Alexander handed the Colchester man his big chance on the back of fellow Brit Kell Brook’s double pull out through injury.
While Brook had worked his way into the mandatory challenger position, Purdy has been chosen to simply help Alexander tick over until bigger money and more meaningful fights are on the horizon. Purdy currently stands as the IBF number four contender and despite being a former British champion he has never remotely fought in Alexander’s league.
According to the bookmakers the 25 year-old Purdy who will be fighting outside the UK for the first time doesn’t have a glimmer of hope with one offering Alexander at a prohibitive 1-40.
As a two-weight world champion who has operated in world class company for several years, southpaw Alexander comes with a terrific pedigree and was recently touted for a bout with the pound for pound leader Floyd Mayweather. The 26 year-old Alexander is not popular among some fans and fighters on the back of being a spoiler who consistently holds in bouts and he could pose a hugely frustrating and awkward night for Purdy. However, there is the outside possibility Alexander could overlook Purdy who is a great advert of what simple heart, hard work and dedication can do for a prizefighter.
Since turning professional at the end of 2006, Purdy 20-3-1 has built a solid and respected reputation on the domestic scene winning Southern Area, English, British and an IBF international title but was never widely seen as a future world champion or challenger. Purdy’s best wins to date were his 2011 double stoppage over Manchester’s Craig Watson who at the time was a big favourite in hot form and looked able to move into European and world title contention.
Not only were the results of those bouts a surprise but furthermore the ease in which Purdy disposed of him. Purdy loves an old fashioned tear up and fights in a relentless come forward style but will probably find the elusive and smart Alexander unwilling to oblige while carefully attempting to pick off Purdy. That job for Alexander could be made easier if Purdy fails to launch his attacks in a careful and controlled fashion which would see Alexander pick him off at will and make him look largely inferior.
It’s difficult to build a convincing case for Purdy who was outclassed by the more technically gifted Colin Lynes in 2011 even when Lynes was thought to be somewhat beyond his peak. From the offset Lynes controlled the fight using his superior boxing skills to negate Purdy’s power.
Purdy has recovered from that setback and is on a run of four consecutive stoppages which indicates his confidence and strength have grown which could be key weapons against Alexander. However Purdy is facing the strong possibility of fighting without his trainer Tony Sims in the corner following visa difficulties and it could see middleweight and close friend Darren Barker taking charge.
Alexander has just a single blemish in an otherwise perfect 25 fight career. His 2011 light-welterweight unification match with Timothy Bradley ended on the wrong side of a 10th round technical decision and Alexander was not happy with his performance. He claimed his second world title in October 2012 with a comprehensive points victory over the veteran Randall bailey which followed on from good wins over the dangerous punchers Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana.
The evidence all points to a wide points win for Alexander but Purdy will give his all and win the admiration of the American audience.
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