As some of you know I spent six months of my rookie year in pro journalism interning at the Detroit News, so I have a huge soft spot for the city, even through the body blows it has suffered in recent years.
The economic downturn.
It's easy to kick the city while it's on its knees, so I'm happy whenever a fight promoter decides to bring an important bout to an area that has contributed so much to boxing.
In this respect boxing is following the lead of the UFC, which could have brought November's showdown between Quentin Jackson and Lyoto Machida anywhere but chose to stage the event in Auburn Hills.
Likewise, a unification bout between undefeated champions, neither with ties to the area, is a coup for metro Detroit. Butfor me it's still bittersweet that, like Jackson and Machida, they'll trade punches 20 miles north of the city.
It's sort of like celebrating Toronto with a big party in Newmarket.
And let's face it, the suburbs don't have the same connection to boxing history that the city does.
Joe Louis' home base. Sugar Ray Robinson's birthplace. Home of the legendary Kronk Gym.
The common thread there isn't Metro Detroit.
And let's face something else.
As accomplished and hungry as Bradley and Alexander are, they don't have the juice to sell out the cavernous Silverdome the way Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant did in 1987. In fact, the seating configuration for Saturday's fight reportedly will accommodate no more than 15,000 spectators.
But if you focus on everything Saturday's fight doesn't have, I don't have to be Black Milk to tell you you're losing out.
Both Bradley and Alexander bring a whole lot to Saturday's showdown to make it worth watching for both hardcore and casual fans.
1. The Stakes -- Somebody's "0" will go.
How often do we see undefeated champions butt heads with the stakes this high?
These days our guy Floyd Mayweather (justifiably) takes heat from critics who wonder if he's more concerned with protecting his undefeated record than defending it. But a decade ago he wasn't that guy. In January 2001 he was what Bradley and Alexander are now -- an undefeated champ risking his belt and perfect record against a fighter in Diego Corrales who was doing the same.
The bout turned into a whitewash, with Mayweather out-thinking Corrales and dropping him five times on the way to a 10th-round TKO, but heading into that bout few boxing experts could pick a winner.
When sizing up a pair of fighters who matched up so evenly on paper the what became most clear about that fight was that win or lose both fighters deserved immense respect for tackling the challenge.
If there has been a more significant matching of undefeated champs in the decade since Mayweather-Corrales than the Bradley-Alexander bout, I can't recall it.
And if you can't pick a winner yet between Bradley and Alexander I can't blame you.
2. Styles -- they make fights
Between the two men Alexander is by far the more stylish boxer, but he also packs plenty of power. If you don't believe me ask Colombia's Juan Urango, whom Alexander flattened last March.
Bradley, meanwhile, mixes relentless pressure with smart movement. As his knockout record (11KOs in 26 wins) attests, he doesn't possess Alexander's one-punch power. But he can sting you, and those shots add up. He's boxer enough to shut down foes who think they can outwit him, but fighter enough to bang with bigger opponents.
If you don't believe me ask Luis Carlos Abregu, whom Bradley decisioned last summer.
Their styles may diverge but they have an opponent in common: Junior Witter, a former world champ from England who will try to resuscitate his career iFeb. 19 at a United Promotions card at Mississauga's Hershey Centre.
If it helps you choose between these two, Bradley nipped Witter by split decision in May 2008, while the following summer Alexander outboxed Witter cleanly over eight rounds before their titled bout was stopped.
3. The Bigger Picture
After negotiations between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao collapsed last December, and before Mayweather signed to fight Shane Mosley, rumours swirled that Money was looking for a 140-pounder to lure to welterweight for "superfight" and a seven-figure payday.
At the time I remember thinking I'd boycott any such bout on principle -- unless that 140-pounder named Timothy Bradley.
While Mayweather waits on the sideline as his legal issues play out, the winner Saturday night gains the credentials and publicity required to enter the Mayweather/Pacquiao future opponent lottery.
And if not, both men remain in the middle of a frighteningly intense round-robin at 140 pounds, and in the running for yet another massive matchup -- an eventual showdown with Pacquiao stablemate Amir Khan.
Either way, Saturday's fight is both the culmination of a unification process that began when Bradley claimed his first world title in 2008, and the beginning of what looks like a long run of high-skill, high-stakes matchups in one of boxing's hottest divisions.
And I'll be ringside, giving you the details on the blog and on twitter.
Or at least through it on the way to the superfight.