by Tom Finkel
Editor's note: After Devon Alexander beat DeMarcus Corley in New York over the weekend, former RFT staff writer Ben Westhoff checked in with Alexander's trainer, Kevin Cunningham, whom he'd profiled for this paper in 2005:
Cunningham says he and Alexander had a blast in New York, chowing on pizza, visiting Times Square and soaking up the “media frenzy” surrounding the fight. A celebrity-studded affair that drew a crowd of 12,000, the evening also saw Roy Jones Jr. defeat Felix Trinidad, as well as former IBF champion Roman Karmazin’s loss to Alex Bunema. (Karmazin, you may remember, was beaten by Cunningham’s other marquee fighter, Cory Spinks, at the Savvis Center here in July 2006.)
“I had him winning every round,” Cunningham says of Alexander, noting that his opponent, the former junior welterweight champ champion Corley, had lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Zab Judah in close matches. (Never mind that the fading Corley had lost just six weeks earlier.) “For Devon to totally dominate this guy, to beat this guy a lot badder than those guys did, that says something for this young twenty-year-old-kid.” He expects the win will land Alexander in the top five in the world in the junior welterweight division.
Cunningham declines to say how much Alexander earned for the fight but called it “the opportunity of a lifetime” for him and says his next fight will be in St. Louis on March 27, when Spinks fights Verno Phillips. (Alexander’s opponent has yet to be determined.)
As for Cunningham, he recently opened a sports bar in north county, called Knockouts Bar and Grill. According to the St. Louis American, it’s quite the joint: “The black-and-red bedecked sports bar (a boxing motif) weighs in with 18 plasma screens and a 106-inch projection screen. Other amenities include: a 40 ft.-plus bar, 3 pool tables, 3 electronic dart boards, a mirrored danced floor, outdoor promenade and patio, dinning area and a full kitchen and menu.”
(And don’t forget about the Knockout Girls, “attractive women who sport boxing-like shorts and tennis shoes” for whom “looking good every shift is only a round of their fight.”)
“It’s a really hot spot in town,” says Cunningham.