It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes, St. Louis.
The city with the large arch should be hopping next week when two world title fights combust like a Nelly song at the Scottrade Center.
Competitors for the Feb. 25 fight card spoke on a telephone conference call yesterday and already a war of the words unfurled like a rapper smack down.
WBO junior lightweight titleholder Adrian Broner (22-0, 18 KOs) faces fellow undefeated junior lightweight Eloy Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs) in the co-main event. Both were extremely confident and not shy about it. HBO will televise.
“I’ve seen guys like him. It’s the same thing , a different box,” said Broner, who’s adapted to the role of world champion very comfortably.
Perez feels he’s too comfortable.
“I don’t think he’s fought anybody as smart as me and with the will,” said Perez, who fights out of Salinas, California. “I’m just hungry and I’m willing to do anything. I’m willing to go home in a box.”
WBA junior welterweight titleholder Marcos Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) meets St. Louis prizefighter Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) where he breathes, in a fight to be contested at 147 pounds. The hometown advantage doesn’t bother Maidana and surely doesn’t bother Alexander.
“Sometimes you have these local decisions so I’m going to do my best to knock him out,” said Maidana calmly about beating Alexander among his friends. “I know I have to win by a wide margin in order to win a decision.”
Alexander knows that the Argentine prizefighter wields serious firepower but foresees no problems inside the ring.
“I am frankly tired of all the speculation and talks abut me fighting in my home town. I’m a big draw at home so be it,” said Alexander, who is fighting for the first time under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. “This fight I’m not going to leave it in the judge’s hands. I’m going to win convincingly.”
Alexander’s last fight was against another Argentine, Lucas Matthysse, who floored him once and staggered him another time. At the end of 12 rounds many felt Alexander had lost the fight but the judges in St. Louis saw it otherwise. Once again observers wonder if Alexander can win outside of the Missouri boundaries.
“There’s not going to be a doubt that I won the fight. I want to leave it out of everybody’s hands,” Alexander explained. “I don’t go in the ring to knock nobody out but it’s definitely going to be a good fight.”
Cincinnati’s Broner too likes fighting in St. Louis.
“I’ll put on a great show in St. Louis. It’s a second home for me and I’ve been going there since I was a kid,” said Broner, who has scored back-to-back knockout wins including a spectacular one in Guadalajara, Mexico. “I will leave still as the world champion. “
Perez has been knocking on the doors of his promoters the past year in search of a world title opportunity. The Mexican-born prizefighter likes that he’s fighting someone as formidable as Cincinnati’s Broner.
“I’m excited for Feb 25. I’m going to take that title home with me,” exclaims Perez. “I hope he polished it for me.”
I wonder if Nelly is going to be there?