NEW YORK (Reuters) - Undefeated world champions Devon Alexander and Tim Bradley see a rich future for the winner of their showdown next month in a 140-pound division bursting with talent.
"I feel that this is a stepping stone to Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, to the super guys, the elite of the elite," WBO title holder Bradley (26-0) told reporters Wednesday as he promoted the January 29 clash at the Silverdome outside Detroit.
Alexander said he knew what was at stake beyond the belts in their all-American bout.
"There's a lot on the line," said WBC champion Alexander (21-0). "The winner of this could be in a mega-fight."
Two other prominent names in the light-welterweight division will be in a Las Vegas ring Saturday as Amir Khan of Britain (23-1) puts his WBA belt on the line against heavy-hitting Marcos Maidana of Argentina (29-1).
Boxing's super fight would pit Pacquiao against Mayweather, but the clock is ticking on those ring giants who have failed to agree to terms.
Bradley, 27, and Alexander, 23, said they would have no trouble moving up in weight to 147 pounds if the opportunity arose for a big-money challenge. In the meantime, attractive fights remain in their own well-stocked division.
"They are on their way out," Alexander said about Pacquiao and Mayweather.
"There's a new era that is coming in. I feel like our class, the 140-class, is that new era that is going to bring back boxing and bring back great fights like in the past -- Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and (Roberto) Duran."
Alexander said he would be ringside to watch Khan-Maidana.
"Hopefully I can get the winner. These are all top-quality guys. All of these fights are 50-50. I'm willing to put my back against the wall and go for it," he said.
The World Boxing Organization champion tabbed Maidana as his pick.
"Khan has the ability to win but I think Maidana is going to win," said Alexander, questioning the strength of the Briton's chin. "I think Khan will have to exchange with that guy, who is going to be in his face all night long.
"This guy is pretty clever, he doesn't just rush in there. He's going to give Khan some problems."
(Editing by Steve Ginsburg; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)