Devon Alexander told me a couple days ago that he wanted to come in and go after Lee Purdy, and show the world he can give you fun fights. He started strong, and was throwing more than 80 punches around Showtime's TV opener from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Purdy, though, looked to be just showing up to survive, like he would see going the distance as a win. He ate and ate and ate, and while I didn't see him get buzzed, his corner pulled the plug after round seven. Purdy was displeased with the move, but the fans weren't crushed as it was a one-sided situation.
After the fight, Devon told Jim Gray that he hurt his left hand in the first round. He said Purdy showed he was tough, and he knows there will be critics who bust his chops, but he said he will just keep keepin' on.
Purdy, who got the gig four weeks ago after Kell Brook was injured, missed weight at the Friday weigh in. He was 148, and 147.8 after taking an hour to get to 147, so he wouldn't be able to win Devon's crown even if he won. He fought like a man not in possession of a full complement of fire.
In the first, the 20-3-1 Brit Purdy started slow. The IBF welter champ Alexander (from St Louis; 24-1 entering; 146 3/4 pounds) looked to go forward, and banged high and low. He was busy, with combos, but ate a right at 45 seconds to go. Uppercuts worked for Devon late in the round. Purdy held a high, tight guard, so Devon worked around that a lot. Devon was ultra busy in the second. Purdy sneered at his pop, but the volume was immense, even if he didn't buzz the Brit. Devon ripped right hooks to the body in the third, and the lefty didn't neglect the left hook to the body either.
In the fourth, Purdy did the same as before; he held a high guard, stood in front of Devon and sometimes threw short launches. Devon moved more in the fifth, as he tried to switch up the vibe a bit. Same thing happened, he won the round.
In the sixth and seventh, Devon popped the jab more. The left hand was hurting Devon, we heard to start the seventh. He mostly used the right, no surprise.
The fight was halted before the eight started, and some of the crowd booed but since it wasn't scintillating, they weren't crushed. The trainer said no more and Purdy said, “Please don't.” perhaps it could have gotten interesting late, if and when Purdy figured out Devon was injured, but since he didn't seem on message on this night, I'm dubious.