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Alexander vs. Urango: Does Juan have a chance in this fight?

By Jim Dower: International Boxing Federation light welterweight champion Juan Urango (22-2-1, 17 KO’s) will be putting his IBF title on the line in a unification bout against WBC light welterweight champion Devon Alexander (19-0, 12 KO’s) on March 6th at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Urango, 29, lost a lopsided 12 round decision to WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto last year in May. However, because Urango was moving up in weight instead of fighting at light welterweight, he didn’t lose anything in defeat other than some hurt feelings.

Urango will have the power advantage over the 23-year-old Alexander, but not much more than that. Alexander is the faster fighter, the better boxer and the much younger of the two. Unless Alexander suffers a knockout or a freak injury of some kind or another, it seems like that Alexander will take Urango’s IBF title on March 6th.

The fight matches two southpaw fighters, one who likes to slug and the other a boxer/puncher. Urango is the slugger, and a pressure fighter by nature. If he’s going to win this fight, he’s going to have to get to Alexander and hurt him with something big. The good news is that Alexander will be there to be hit. Urango won’t have to go looking for Alexander, because the American fighter likes to stand in close and trade on the inside.

It’s unclear whether Alexander will adopt a difference approach for this fight, because his previous 19 opponents have been less dangerous than Urango and not half the puncher that he is. In Alexander’s last bout, he stopped Junior Witter in the 8th round in August 2009 after Witter bowed out because of an elbow injury.

The fight was reasonably close in terms of action at the time of the stoppage, but it was pretty clear that Alexander was beginning to dominate the exchanges more and more as the fight was progressing. Alexander showed a different side to his game in that fight, throwing many more power punches than he had in previous fights.

Up until then, Alexander had been more of a volume puncher who typically would throw a lot of punches and would take his opponents out with a massive accumulation of shots. But against Witter, Alexander loaded up with his shots much more and was showing power that I’d never seen before.

Urango is coming off an impressive 11th round stoppage win over the big slugger Randall Bailey in August 2009. Urango beat Bailey at his own game, landing the bigger shots and walking through some of Bailey’s monstrous punches. Earlier in the year, Urango defeated Herman Ngoudjo to capture the vacant IBF light welterweight title with a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in January.

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