NEW YORK – The verdict which came out of Devon Alexander’s last fight left a bad taste in his mouth, a draw after twelve rounds with Victor Ortiz in February which most observers felt Alexander one.
“The decision could have been solidified and I could have moved on, but I have this cloud of a draw hanging over me,” said Alexander (27-4-1, 14 knockouts), 31, of St. Louis, Mo. “But all in all everybody saw it, everybody knows I won and I moved on.”
Even without the official win, Alexander, a former junior welterweight and welterweight titleholder, believed he had delivered the message he intended to the boxing world: “I’m back to the old Devon Alexander.”
As for his next outing, Alexander says he has a “big” fight coming up in June against an opponent he can’t yet reveal.
His biggest fight in recent years, a resounding win, hasn’t come in the boxing ring, but outside of it. Alexander has publicly revealed his battle with opioid addiction, an ordeal he said he pulled out of through seeking help, and remembering what he had to live for.
“What I want to tell them is they can do this, because I’m a living witness. If I’m in the ring fighting, I’m fighting for them,” Alexander said, when asked what message was for others still struggling with addiction.
“What I tell people all the time when they ask me how did I overcome it. I said, I had something to look forward to. I had my family, and I had my career. That’s how I was able to overcome it. I was looking at my kids, like ‘man, I got really straighten up.’
“And being in a group with a lot of people around me saying what they was doing, scared the shit out of me to be honest. What they was doing, they was on heroin, it scared the shit out of me. It scared me straight, actually.”
Overcoming that toughest of foes has him feeling confident about his future battles in the ring.
“I got a lot left, I was going through something two years ago but I’m back and refreshed so I’m happy,” said Alexander.