Boxer Devon Alexander is the Father of FHN Sophomore Devon Alexander Jr.


Credit to Ankita Pandurangi

Sophomore Devon Alexander Jr. and his father stand together to take a photo. His father Devon Alexander Sr. is a boxing world champion in 2 weight classes and still fights today. His last fight was on Aug. 7 2021 against Luke Santamaria.

By Hope Moseley

Devon Alexander was born in 1987 and raised in Saint Louis with his 13 siblings. Times were tough and money was scarce for Alexander’s family. Some nights he would go to bed without dinner. 

At age 7, Alexander started going to a boxing gym to fill his time and stay out of trouble. He started competing at 8 years old and has been competing ever since. It took five things to get him where he is today; resilience, hard work, time, dedication and a lot of blood.

“You have to be consistent and want it bad enough,” Alexander said.

At 17 years old, Alexander won a match that qualified him for the Olympics. He headed home excited, but that excitement was cut short when he learned some bad news. His father had prostate cancer. Eventually his father passed away. Later, when Alexander won his first title, it reminded him of his dad and all his hard work.

“When I won my first title my emotions bursted,” Alexander said. “It felt like God lifted me up.”

Alexander’s nickname is “Devon Alexander the Great”, referring to a Greek military general, Alexander the Great. Alexander relates to this figurehead because he didn’t start off as “the great,” he worked his way up. He started off training with 30 other fighters and was the only one to make it to the top.

“Big time players make big time plays at big time events,” Alexander said.

Boxing became more challenging when Alexander became a father, especially when he had to go away for months at a time. His oldest son Devon Alexander Jr. is a sophomore at North. He participates in cross country and track.

“I have a dad to look up to that does big things, so it makes me want to do good, too,” Alexander Jr. said.

Alexander Jr. is following in his father’s example by also boxing. They push each other to get stronger. His father’s career has taught him many things from adversity to hard work and determination.

“His career has taught me a lot, that no matter what, don’t give up,” Alexander Jr. said. “You’re going to be doubted, but you can’t stop.”

Not only does Alexander work hard for his kids but he also works hard for other kids. He often goes to schools and talks to the kids, telling them about his story. He describes to them a journey of finding a way out of the situation he was in at a young age. Alexander has stayed in Saint Louis all these years to advocate for kids that are experiencing the same things that he did. Eventually, Alexander wants to open up his own boxing gym and teach kids how to fight.

“My passion here is to take my butt down there to the kids that need help,” Alexander said. “I want the kids to know I was there for them.”

Alexander wants his story to inspire young athletes so that they know they can make it out of any tough situation. From a poor kid from the city to a professional boxer, Alexander is living proof that hard work and determination pays off.