Ngoudjo wins split decision victory over Bailey

09.06.07 - By Gary Jones: Former two-time light welterweight champion Randall Bailey (35-6, 32 KO’s) lost a close 12-round split decision to Montreal fighter Hermann Ngoudjo (16-1, 9 KO’s) on Friday night at the Uniprix Stadium, in Montreal, Canada. The final judge’s scores were 115-112, 114-112 and 112-115. The victory earns Ngoudjo, 27, a title shot against IBF super lightweight champion Lovemore N’Dou from Australia..

randall baileyNgoudjo, formerly from Cameroon and now living in Canada, didn’t exactly put on an overwhelming performance against Bailey. In fact, Ngoudjo looked essentially one-dimensional, slow and for the most part, unskilled compared to Bailey, 32, who appeared to have easily won the fight. However, the bout was in Canada, Ngoudjo’s new home, and the result wasn’t so shocking when taking account of that. Bailey was knocked down in the first round, though it was more of an off balance shot than a legitimate knockdown.

Previous to that, Bailey had controlled the round with his powerful right hand shots, which Ngoudjo did a poor job trying to get out of the way of. Nevertheless, it was ruled a knockdown. In turn, Bailey even the score in the 2nd round when he landed a powerful left hook that sent Ngoujdo flying across the ring towards the ring ropes, along the way, Ngoudjo touch the canvas with his glove, making it a knockdown. In rounds two and three, Bailey controlled the action behind his fast jab and powerful right hand shots.

Bailey, though 32-years-old, he can still punch as hard as he did early in his career, and Ngoudjo was no match for him in that department, nor was he in terms of hand speed either for that matter. Ngoudjo was essentially limited to jabs in rounds two and three, as his power shots were often missing their mark. To make up for his limited handspeed, Ngoudjo would frequently resort to charging after Bailey, wildly running across the ring at him while throwing punches. I’ve seen Pacquiao do this, and have always hated it, but Ngoudjo takes it to another level. Bailey, for his part, would step to the side or duck when Ngoudjo made these amateurish charges, leaving Ngoudjo punching at air.

In round four, arguably Ngoudjo’s best round of the fight, he thumbed Bailey in the eye early in the round, causing him to back up and cover up while he tried to regain his composure. Later in the round, still feeling the effects of the thumbing, Ngoudjo landed a body shot that hurt Bailey. Not to miss out on an opportunity, Ngoudjo immediately ran after Baily, throwing punches as he ran and looking amateurish as usual, and connecting with nothing once again, as Bailey stepped aside and let Ngoudjo miss his wild punches.

After this round, the lights went out briefly in the arena due to a huge rain storm which had hit the area. However, they quickly got the lights back on and the action resumed without any prolonged delay impacting the fight. In round five, neither fighter did much at all. Because of this, I gave the round to Ngoudjo, figuring that’s what the judge’s would due considering Ngoudjo’s status as the hometown fighter. I didn’t help Bailey’s case, though, that the 10,000 fans in the arena were screaming like mad for Ngoudjo, making it seem as if there were 100,000.

To be honest though, I thought Bailey easily won the round over the crude Ngoudjo, who looked terrified of getting hit hard by Bailey. In rounds six through eleven, the bout was all Bailey, mostly because Ngoudjo still seemed petrified by Bailey’s power, and didn’t want to mix it up to any extent. Sure, Ngoudjo was still making wild charges every now and then, but he was mostly quiet and scared looking for the most part. In round nine, Bailey went right hand crazy and hit Ngoujdo with a large number of hard right shots. It was a bad round for Ngoudjo, who showed how limited he is as a fighter, because he was unable to block any of the punches, nor was he returning fire to get Bailey’s respect.

I gave Ngoudjo the final round – the 12th – because he pressured Bailey the entire round. Though, it wasn’t effective aggression, as Ngoujdo missed constantly, and when he did land, it was punches behind the head or hitting on the break. In the meantime, Bailey, who was showing swelling under both eyes, landed the harder and cleaner punches the entire round. I think Bailey actually won this round, too, but being that the fight was in Ngoudjo’s hometown, I figured the judge’s would score the round for him based on this fact. However, if that kind of nonsense was taken out of the equation, Bailey clearly won this round based on number of right hand shots he landed in this round.

Article posted on 10.06.2007

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