Randall Bailey: The ultimate neutralizer
By Joseph Herron – When 18 year fight veteran Randall Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) of Miami, Florida was slated to face undefeated 147 pound contender Mike Jones on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao/Timothy Bradley PPV event on June 9th, 2011, for the vacant IBF Welterweight Championship, most fight fans and boxing scribes didn’t give the 38 year old fighter much of a chance to win the coveted title.
But when the “Knock-Out King” shocked the boxing world by landing a perfect right uppercut to the chin of the unbeaten prospect in the eleventh round of their championship bout, it left little to the imagination as to why Bailey uses his moniker during the pre-fight announcements.
After dropping nine of the previously contested ten rounds of “action” to Mike Jones, most ringside observers viewed the pairing as a colossal mismatch and a dismal one-sided affair. Ringside commentator for HBO and Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward summed up the title fight perfectly.
“The Mike Jones/Randall Bailey fight went from being one of the worst fights in the history of HBO PPV, to being one of the most sensational knock-outs in the history of HBO PPV.”
With one solid right hand, the old man of the Welterweight division won his second world title in two divisions and became a legitimate player in the talent enriched weight class.
Tonight from the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Randall Bailey will make his first title defense against former WBC/IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) as part two of a scheduled quadruple header, slated to be televised on Showtime premium cable network at 8:00 PM EST/PST.
Although the unlikely IBF Champ will be entering the ring tonight as the reigning title holder, his opponent will be the overwhelming favorite to win the twelve round contest.
But if you ask Bailey what he thinks, the seasoned veteran will tell you that the title will be around his waist at the end of the fight.
“I know I’m going to win this fight just like I knew I was going to win the title in June,” insists current IBF Welterweight Champion Randall Bailey. “Most people counted me out against Mike Jones but I didn’t care. I’m used to that.”
“What I want to know is what Alexander’s going to do when I force him to fight? He can try to run, but there’s going to be a point in the fight when he’ll be forced to fight me. What’s he going to do when he can’t run anymore?”
Tonight Bailey will be facing a much younger fighter who only possesses one loss on his impressive fight resume. The title challenger is a southpaw with great speed and athleticism. The St. Louis based fighter also has good power in both hands and carries a wide arsenal of punches in the ring.
But Bailey feels that Alexander doesn’t have the intangible that matters the most in a fight of this magnitude; a fighter’s mentality and warrior’s heart.
“Alexander has shown weakness under pressure in his previous fights with Matthysse and Bradley, and I’m going to put a lot of it on him in our fight. When you put pressure on a fighter like Alexander and make him uncomfortable in the ring, it almost seems like a fight is the last thing he wants to be in.”
“Everyone’s going to see that my win over Jones was no fluke. I have the power to win any fight. As everyone saw in my last fight, it only takes one punch to knock someone out. All I need is one opportunity to land my right hand, and I’ll put him to sleep for the night.”
Although his athletic gifts have steadily declined over the years, Bailey always carries hope into the ring with his sledgehammer right hand.
Will Randall Bailey be able to land one of his right hand bombs against the elusive Devon Alexander to retain his IBF Welterweight title?
We’ll find out tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.