Another One From The "I Can't Believe He's STILL Fighting" Column - Frankie "The Surgeon" Randall

08.11.07 - by James Slater: Remember Frankie "The Surgeon" Randall, the fighter who used his talents to dissect the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, becoming the very first man to defeat him? Well, he's back. According to, Randall, now aged forty-six, will box the unbeaten Vernon "Iceman" Paris on December 13th in Dearborn, Michigan. Paris is a mere nineteen years-of age, and will be meeting a Randall who has not fought for almost two-and-a-half years. Not only that, but "The Surgeon" has not operated successfully for over four-plus years. What can Randall, 59-18-1(42) possibly have left today.?

Randall was a very accomplished and dangerous fighter in his prime, which came pretty late in his career. Turning pro as a lightweight waaay back in June of 1981, with a four round points win over a guy named Willie Taylor, Randall, then just nineteen years-old, would see another thirteen years go by before getting his chance to fight for a world title. When he finally got his chance, however, he made the most of it - causing the huge upset over Chavez in early 1994. It had been a long road to glory for the Birmingham, Alabama-born "Surgeon."

After his winning debut, Randall went 24-0 before his first loss. A points loss over ten rounds to former lightweight champ Edwin Rosario, in a bout that took place in London in 1985, was Frankie's first setback. Four wins later, Randall drew with the tough Freddie Pendleton over twelve. Then, after four more wins, the last of which being a points win over Tim Burgess (not the lead singer with excellent band The Charlatans!) Randall was KO'd in two short rounds by the dangerous Mexican, Primo Ramos. The year was now 1987, and Frankie had some serious work to do if he was to become a world champion.

Boxing from early 1988 to late 1993, Randall put seventeen wins in the bag, all but four of these victories coming inside schedule. This was enough to earn him his first crack at a world championship. Randall's first challenge would not be against just any champion, however. He would meet the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, an all-time great who was then sporting an astonishing 89-0-1 record. Unfazed, "The Surgeon" shocked the boxing world that night in January 1994 - knocking down Chavez for the first time ever in the Mexican's superb career and going on to capture a hard-fought twelve round split decision at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas. At age thirty-two he was the new WBC light-welterweight king!

Most fans will be aware of what happened next. In a rematch a mere four months later, with the new champ appearing to have been on his way towards proving his first win was no fluke, Randall-Chavez II was stopped due to a cut suffered by the former champion. Though ruled accidental, the cut over Chavez's eye prompted a one point deduction from Randall - and the end of the fight. With Chavez unable to continue, the fight went to the scorecards. Chavez regained his belt via an unpopular eight round technical decision. Most felt Randall had been poorly treated. His time as a world champion was only over for the time being though.

Bouncing back in September of the same year with a clear points win over Juan Martin Coggi to claim the WBA version of world honours at 140 pounds, Randall made two successful retentions - before losing his second title on extremely unlucky grounds. Another accidental clash of heads proved to be Frankie's undoing. In round five of a 1996 rematch with Coggi, the challenger was unable to carry on due to the collision of heads the two men had. Randall's new title was gone also, going in similar fashion to his first. Still, Coggi had floored Randall earlier in their second fight, proving how dangerous he could be. A rubber-match was signed. This time boxing in Coggi's home country of Argentina, Randall put on a fine performance and won via a unanimous verdict to become champ yet again. Unfortunately, his third reign would not last long.

Losing to Moroccan-born Khalid Rahilou in January of 1997, Randall was stopped for only the second time in his career up until that point - succumbing to a TKO defeat at fifty-eight seconds of round number eleven. Randall has yet to box in a further (recognised) world title fight.

Since the bad loss to Rahilou, Randall's career has been very much an up-and-down one. Of the eighteen bouts he has engaged in since January of '97, thirteen have been losing ones. Worse still, he has been stopped ten times. Going up against guys like Oba Carr, Antonio Margarito, Jose Antonio Rivera, Peter Manfredo Junior, Julio Cesar Chavez (in a quite bizarre, way-past-their-best 2004 rubber-match) and Marco Antonio Rubio, in fights held at either welterweight or light-middleweight, Randall has taken much punishment.

Frankie's last fight was also a losing one, a sixth round TKO to Craig Weber. Since then, "The Surgeon" has been inactive. Now, at the grand old age of forty-six, he decides to give it one more go against the young-enough-to-be-his-son, Vernon Paris. The fight is at light-welterweight and the question is, can Frankie possibly win?

Detroit's Paris, 17-0(12) will certainly not want to let something like an upset comeback win occur at his expense, not against such a badly used up veteran. Randall was a fine, possibly almost great, fighter back in the mid-1990's. Now, though, after well over half his life spent in the boxing ring, his time should be spent somewhere else. I wish him good luck.

Article posted on 09.11.2007

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