DEVON ALEXANDER: Training is going good as always. My coaches and I are getting ready for the biggest fight of my career and the monster is Mount Charleston [outside Las Vegas] and nobody can run that. The elevation is 8,000 feet. It’s a monster just like we call it. I have been running at 8,000 feet elevation. Training is going good, we are just putting on the final touches and we are ready to rock and roll. We can see the skiers while we are running but we don’t get close enough where we are right next to each other.
KEN THOMPSON: Timothy is one of the best boxers in the world and we have known he would be from the day we met him. We believe he is one of the best representatives in the sport of boxing today. We know that he and Devon Alexander are going to put on a great fight.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I would like to thank God, my family, Thompson Boxing, Gary Shaw Productions and HBO. Everyone that made this possible…Team Alexander, Don King, everyone. I am excited about this fight. It’s been a long journey. This is the biggest fight of my career and I’m ready to seal the deal. I am going to seize the moment. It may be the biggest opportunity I may ever get in my whole entire life and I definitely want to be victorious in this fight. Training camp is going very well. I am ahead of schedule. The weight is good. I feel great. Lots of sparring – tons of sparring rounds. I am just excited and I can’t wait. I’m starting to get a little bored training. Now we are starting to taper down a little bit – just get polished up and we’ll be ready for the 29th.
What does it mean to you that the winner will be the best in this loaded weight class?
DEVON ALEXANDER: It feels good. I have been working towards this since I was 7 years old. Since I came to the gym in St. Louis. I have been working hard every day. No short cuts. I started this journey, I won two National PAL titles, went to the Olympic trials. Now I’ve got to seize the moment. This is a big fight in my career. This will determine who is the best 140-pounder. Timothy Bradley I know will be ready and I am ready to show the world that I am the best at 140.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: This is a huge fight. I don’t know on what scale everyone else out there sees this fight but this is the biggest fight of my career and Devon’s career. It shows what type of fighters we are. We are young and both in our prime and you rarely ever see two undefeated guys – two world champions – Americans, fight each other. You rarely see that and it’s come down to this. I am seeded No. 1 and he has to prove to the world that he is better than I am. That’s going to be a hell of a challenge. I am fired up, I’m ready and I’m hungry to show the world that I am the best 140-pounder out there. This division is loaded and I feel I am the best and I’ve got to prove it on January 29th.
What kind of fight do you envision?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I think it is going to be a very high-paced fight. I throw and lot of punches and I know Devon throws a lot of punches. He throws about 80-100 punches per round. We are both going to be battling for position and dominance in the ring. The first couple rounds may be feel out rounds and then it will start to get interesting towards the middle of the fight.
DEVON ALEXANDER: I am just going to follow the game plan that my coach has set out to do. My coach and me have a master game plan and nobody will outwork me. I see me taking over and winning each round and if Timothy Bradley is there for 12-rounds then so be it. I am looking to take over every round.
How do you feel about fighting in Detroit, which has such great boxing history?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I am excited to be fighting in the Silverdome and it’s a fighting city. As far as it being a great fight? You can bet your life on it. It’s going to be a great fight. Stylistically, it’s going to be a great fight. We are two young warriors and neither is willing to take “no” for an answer. When you have those types of personalities in the ring it’s going to make for a great fight. I think it will be fight of the year.
DEVON ALEXANDER: Me fighting in Detroit? It’s a good thing. My history in St. Louis, we have a rich, rich background. There are many great fighters that came from St. Louis. So there is no pressure on me. This is what I’ve been praying to do my whole life so this sis the moment I’ve been waiting for and I’m ready to rock and roll.
How big is that bed and do you get any vibes from Mike Tyson while you are sleeping in there? [Alexander is using Don King’s Las Vegas house as his training headquarters. The same house, and bed, Mike Tyson used when he trained in Las Vegas when he was promoted by King]
DEVON ALEXANDER: You know, I don’t even take up half of the bed. I sleep on one half and the other half I rarely go on because the bed is so big.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I do think the state of boxing right now is at a low. Until you have great fights like this in the 140 division, I think it’s going to bring it back. We are the most talented division in boxing and we are going to bring it back just like the old days. If it’s an awesome fight like I think it’s going to be we are going to do it again for the boxing fans and for the world. This is the best fight in boxing because you are not going to see Manny and Floyd fight any time soon.
What did you learn about the Kotelnik fight?
DEVON ALEXANDER: That fight right there taught me that no matter how much pressure there is and no matter how tough the fight is I just have to get in there and do what I was doing since I was 7-years-old. I think everyone has to go through that, being on a big stage in front of over 10,000 people. I learned to stay focused in the ring and don’t let the crowd over-hype you, follow the game plan and be victorious. Don’t try to please everybody.
What does [trainer] Kevin Cunningham mean to you in those moments?
DEVON ALEXANDER: It means a lot to hear his voice. He knows what I need to be doing. He knows when I’m on and when I’m off. He knows how much I weigh before I get on the scale. We connect on all cylinders. He knows how much I can do and how much I can handle. In the Kotelnik fight he just told me to boxing and how to get the victory.
Can you put us in the Holt fight and tell us what you needed to do to win?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I just had to grab on to my nuts and just go for it. Kendall Holt caught me with a big shot early and I don’t know how I got up from that shot. Honestly I don’t. It was determination. My game plan was to pressure him and take him to deep water. Keep the heat on him because Kendall doesn’t like to exchange too much. We saw that watching film so I just stuck to the game plan. I took a chance and every time I went inside it hurt. Kendall can punch. Every time he touched me on the side of the head it hurt. But I was so determined in that fight I couldn’t be stopped. They were going to have to carry me out on a stretcher for him to beat me. It’s just my will, even though it was dangerous, I still stuck to the game plan. That’s why I was victorious in the fight.
Can each of you tell us about the other fighter?
DEVON ALEXANDER: Timothy Bradley brings his heart. He has heart just like me. Two good hearts in the ring is going to be a magnificent fight. I have to make sure I am on my game, be on point and be ready to go 30 rounds.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Devon is a slick fighter, very fast. There is a lot of energy and he tries to be on top of you all the time. I saw some heart in the Kotelnik fight, I’m not going to lie, I saw some heart. When I saw the fight I felt like I was looking at myself in the mirror. Like this kid is pretty tough but I feel that I’m tougher. I’m going to say it over and over, I feel that I’m tougher and he’s going to have to prove it to me. He’s going to have to prove it to me and he’s going to have to prove it to the world. I’ve known him since he was a little kid in the amateurs and he knows me. It’s going to make for a great fight. We are determined. We came a long way and we are determined.
Do you feel this fight is good enough that there will need to be a rematch?
DEVON ALEXANDER: Absolutely. I think it’s going to be a great fight.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Absolutely, I think it’s going to be a great fight. I think the fighters in this fight, win or lose, are going to be superstars. It’s going to be that spectacular.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I was always heavier than he was.
After turning professional, when did you know a collision course would eventually take place?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Early in my career. When I was 15-0 and watching him on TV. He was watching me on TV. We were moving up the ranks and in the same weight class and I knew that some day we were going to have to get it on.
DEVON ALEXANDER: Same here. I saw Tim on TV all the time and we were climbing up the ladder and at one time he was ahead of me and I knew I needed to catch up.
Devon, you are only 23, what would you do for an encore?
DEVON ALEXANDER: It is my time now and I’m going to seize the moment. Most 23-year-olds don’t get the opportunity to unify titles. This will be my third time unifying titles. I am Alexander “The Great” so that’s why they call me that. I am seeking greatness and why not do it early. Not when I’m 27, 28 or 29, why not do it now? There is no pressure. The hard work is in the gym. I am doing the hard work right now. I have been bred to do this. This is the moment I have been waiting for. I don’t let myself get all hyped. I don’t let my emotions get involved. I show my emotions in the ring so I don’t need to do it outside the ring.
How is your relationship with your dad?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: My dad and I, we’ve got a close relationship. We communicate, but Joel Diaz is the head guy in camp, so he gets the final say on everything that goes on in training camp so he’s a second. In training camp he’s not my father, you know. When we leave the gym he’s my father but when we are in the gym he’s my trainer. I just listen to him. I don’t get all hotheaded and act like I know everything. It happens when a son thinks he knows everything and is sick of his dad telling him what to do. I don’t go there. My father is a trainer and he’s my father. I don’t get those mixed up and that’s why our relationship is so great. I respect him as a father and a trainer and that’s why we never have any problems.
Are there any thoughts on moving up in weight class in the future?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Not at the moment. Not even thinking about it. I want to seize the 140 pound titles. There is so much business to take care of at 140 before I would think about the Pacquiao’s and the Mayweather’s, which I would like to do. Each weight class needs one King and that’s what we are going to do at 140.
DEVON ALEXANDER: As of right now I’m taking care of business at 140-pounds. I am 23 and I’m starting to build muscle and getting stronger and stronger. Right now I am staying here but it would be up to my coach and my promoter and we’ll take it from there.
Do you feel this is the biggest fight of the year?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: This fight has been building for about a year now and I think fight fans are getting crazy about it and boxing writers. Including myself. I knew exactly what I was doing. Regardless of what anybody said – that I was running and that I was scared – I knew exactly what I was doing and now look at the magnitude of this fight. For me holding out we are both going to get blessed after this fight. The winner is going to be a superstar.
DEVON ALEXANDER: This is the biggest fight outside of a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. Everybody wants to see this fight. Two undefeated champions going at it toe-to-toe. It’s going to be an amazing fight.
What does it mean to have the zero on your record?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: In the past, day-to-day, month-to-month, you think a little different. Last year I was asked what I wanted for 2010 and I said I wanted to remain undefeated. This year, I just want the best fights. The zero on my record doesn’t matter to me. My biggest goal in boxing is just to be remembered. I don’t want to be forgotten about. Whether I win seven or eight world championships, that will be in the history books and I just want to be remembered. That is my biggest goal. You do that by fighting the best.
DEVON ALEXANDER: My zero means a lot. It means that I have a perfect record and I have been victorious every time. Work hard and train hard and do what I had to do my whole career. I want it to be like my name says…Alexander “The Great” warrior, he was undefeated like the record says. Right now they cannot call me a hall-of-famer because I have not done enough yet, but no one has beaten me.
How do you feel about two African American undefeated fighters fighting in this great fight?
DEVON ALEXANDER: This is a fight just like the old days. They used to want to fight the best. They would be itching to fight the best. They used to say, ‘he’s the best, let me get in there with him.’ It brings back a lot of the roots in boxing and it means a lot to have two undefeated champions, and that means a lot. It’s a major thing.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: This fight is not only good for the African-American race, it is good for boxing. In every interview I hear that boxing is dying and MMA is taking it over and it’s not the same anymore. Well here you have two African-American fighters, I just like to say Americans…two undefeated guys who are champions, young and in their prime are going to go at it on January 29th. It doesn’t get any better than this. We both are undefeated. He doesn’t know how to lose and I don’t know how to lose. On January 29th, somebody’s 0 has got to go and that’s the bottom line. It’s great for boxing. It’s great for the African-American race. It’s great for our careers. It’s great for the public. Period.
Does this fight represent the changing of the guard in boxing?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Absolutely. The winner of these fights, and I say these fights because there are so many guys at 140 pounds…we are going to be the new faces of boxing. The older guys in their 30’s are on their way out. We are going to be the new breed coming in and the new faces of boxing.
DEVON ALEXANDER: Boxing definitely needs some new stars. You can see the other stars fading out. We need to come in and take the thrown. The new breed is coming in.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Win or lose in this fight…the fight is going to be that great that I don’t think anybody is going to lose out. The fact that we are willing to fight each other proves that we are willing to put our undefeated records on the line for the sake of boxing. I feel I am the best, he feels he is the best so let’s put these guys together and let them fight. Win or lose in this fight I feel we are both going to be superstars after this fight.
Do you feel fighters will be ducking the winner of this fight?
DEVON ALEXANDER: Ducking is not new. People do not want to fight the best. That’s what makes this fight so significant. This is the best fighting the best. Nowadays is it very difficult to get any of the top guys to fight each other so it is going to be kind of hard (to make more fights for the winner).
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I agree with it but on a whole different way of thinking. I think the fighters are willing to fight but their handlers or promoters are not willing to make the fight with one of next, especially after the fight. It will be a task because if you are not a part of their team they do not want to fight you. I don’t know why that’s the way it is but that’s the way it is. They won’t give you a chance and that’s what is killing boxing.
After only fighting once last year, are you concerned about the inactivity?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I hope not. With our numerous sparring partners I have been adjusting to different styles, southpaw styles, from big to tall to lanky…you name it. I put enough rounds on in the gym so I shouldn’t be rusty. I have been preparing for this for a while so there will be no problem with my performance. I like to stay busy but they say as a world champion, you only fight once or twice a year. It’s hard to get dates and there are other fighters out there doing spectacular as well. All the fighters need fights and that’s how it goes.
What do you think of Alexander’s resume?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: He has a good resume and has worked hard to be where he is right now. I don’t think that’s really important. Not to get off line, but I watched the Seahawks defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Saints last week and I wouldn’t believe it. They had the worst record in playoff history. I really don’t look at the records. All I know is I’ve got a tough hungry champion in front of me that’s going to try to take me down. Everybody that gets in the ring to fight me, they don’t fight like they did in the past. They fight harder.
Do you have thoughts about Amir Khan claiming he is the best in the weight class?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Nobody knows who is number one till we get in the ring. That’s what makes it interesting. The winner of these two fights will definitely have to fight Amir Khan. If they don’t do it, the media should put the pressure on them because I think that’s the way it should go. I think we all should get a shot at each other. Styles make fights and on any given night, you know you might be in there with the wrong style and you might get beat. We should do a round robin. I should get a shot at Amir; Devon should get a shot at Amir. He should get a shot at Maidana and I should get a shot at Maidana. Like back in the old days with Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler – they all went at it a couple of times. Alexis Arguello and Aaron Pryor – they went at it a couple of times. Let’s do that – the best fighting the best. Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier three times. That’s what boxing needs to bring it back.
DEVON ALEXANDER: Khan is an OK fighter. He’s no big deal. People are really making big hype about Amir Khan. I don’t know what all the hype is about but he has a little power behind him. People think he is more than what I think he is. The winner of this fight doesn’t have to go after Amir Khan. The winner of this fight is going to be No. 1 in the division. Marquez is a bigger fight than Khan so it’s not about chasing him. Amir Khan is not the cash cow at 140. I have a bigger following in St. Louis just like he does in the UK so we shouldn’t be dwelling on Khan.
DEVON ALEXANDER: I am seeking greatness. Whoever they think is the best. The question is, will Khan take the fight? That’s the problem. I think he’s being pampered. You need to ask Khan and his people.
What do you think about Bradley’s resume?
DEVON ALEXANDER: Timmy has an excellent record. He is undefeated, so he has to have something in his arsenal to be undefeated at this point in his career. I don’t dwell on it too much – I am like him on that. A guy with six losses can come in there and hit you with a lucky shot and knock you out. I don’t take anybody for granted and you have to be prepared.
What is the situation with the rematch clause? Is it immediate? What if another big fight comes calling after this one?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: That’s a good question. I haven’t thought about it but I am sick of chasing people and calling people out so I am going to just let it come to me. I have to make the decision that is best for me and my family and just roll with it. We have the rematch clause and we need to do it whether it is this year or the following year.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I just want to constantly fight the best. I will become the best by fighting the best and giving the boxing fans the best fights out there that can possible be made. I am sick of fighting average guys. The top 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – let’s go. Win this fight, who’s next? Khan? Let’s go. After Khan, Maidana, let’s go. After him…Marquez. There are so many fights out there to be made at 140. It’s great and I’m loving it.
Bradley dropped the belt instead of fighting you…
DEVON ALEXANDER: I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. This is the right time for this fight to happen so it must not have been the right time to fight. Now we are fighting so of course it is a good thing now.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Normally when you have an orthodox fighter and a southpaw fighter fighting it usually isn’t (a good fight), but I think because this fight is so huge it is going to be interesting to see what I do and what he does. Dealing with a southpaw it is all about angles…fighting for position.