Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Alexander-Bradley fight at Silverdome
By Dan Rafael
Almost two months after junior welterweight titleholders Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley Jr. signed to fight each other in the first major fight of 2011, the bout finally found a home on Wednesday.
Alexander and Bradley will put their 140-pound belts on the line Jan. 29 (HBO) at the Silverdome in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac, Mich., Bradley promoter Gary Shaw told ESPN.com.
"We're going to the Silverdome, [outside of] Detroit. It's done," Shaw said.
Thus ends the lengthy process of finding a venue for a fight that will match two of the best young fighters in boxing.
For weeks, venues in Detroit, Atlanta, St. Louis (Alexander's hometown), Miami and Washington were mentioned.
"The two finalists were Atlanta and Detroit and at the end of the day, we felt Detroit was the best place to the put the fight. Detroit is a great fight town and has a rich fight history," Shaw said of the city that produced several boxing stars, including Thomas Hearns. "We're excited to go there and give them a great fight with these two great young fighters. HBO has promised to put a lot of muscle behind this fight."
Shaw said the cavernous Silverdome will be scaled for 15,000 for the fight and that tickets will go on sale Dec. 10.
Shaw is co-promoting the fight with Don King, Alexander's promoter. King spokesman Alan Hopper said King had signed off on the deal to take the bout to the Silverdome, the former home of the NFL's Detroit Lions.
Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs), 27, of Palm Springs, Calif., has made four title defenses since going to England and dethroning Junior Witter on points in May 2008. In his second defense, Bradley unified belts with a decision against Kendall Holt but was later stripped of one of them for taking a fight other than one of his mandatory defenses.
Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs), 23, stopped Witter in the eighth round to win a vacant title -- the one stripped from Bradley -- in August 2008 and has made two defenses. In his first defense, Alexander scored a highlight-reel eighth-round knockout of Juan Urango to unify belts and then scored a tight unanimous decision against Andriy Kotelnik in August. Like Bradley, Alexander was stripped of one of his belts because he opted to face Bradley instead of making a mandatory defense for a fraction of the money he will make against Bradley.
Besides the undisclosed site fee from the Silverdome, HBO is paying approximately $3 million for the fight with the sides working on a 50-50 split.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.