Exclusive Interview With "The Knock-Out King," Randall Bailey

by James Slater - This past Friday, on ESPN, former WBO and interim WBA light-welterweight champion Randall "The Knock-Out King" Bailey, 39-6(35) more than lived up to his nickname. Chilling the previously unstopped Frankie Figueroa with a bomb of a right hand in the 4th round of an IBF elimination bout, the 34-year-old Floridian set himself up for a shot at Juan Urango's world title.

Very kindly taking time out to speak with me earlier today, Bailey had the following answers to my questions..

James Slater: Well, everyone's talking about the sensational KO win you scored on Friday night against Frankie Figueroa. That was a brutal knock out!

Randall Bailey: Yeah it was. That kinda scared me a little bit, the way he went down. I was a little worried myself.

J.S: Thankfully, Figueroa was okay. Was that the kind of win you needed?

R.B: I'm on a mission now - to be the world champion again. I just take the wins as they come and then take a few days rest and then get back in the gym and work on the next guy.

J.S: You both scored early knockdowns, how badly hurt were you in the 2nd round? Was it just a flash knockdown type thing?

R.B: Yeah, it was a flash knockdown thing. He hit me on the top of the head and I was trying to back up as he was lunging in. I kind of tripped over my feet as he threw a punch at the same time. I wasn't badly hurt at all.

J.S: Some fans have said Figueroa fought the wrong fight, and that he should never have traded with you. Do you agree?

R.B: Definitely. He definitely fought the wrong fight. But from the day the fight was first made he said he was going to put on a show for the fans, that he was not going to run and that he'd bring the fight to me. He did bring the fight to me.

J.S: I know you want to become a three-time champion. How do you feel now compared to when you won your first and second world titles - against Carlos Gonzalez (WBO 140) in 1999 and against Demetrio Ceballos (interim WBA 140) in 2002?

R.B: I feel great. I feel better than ever actually. My patience is much better now. I try not to get too excited or wild when I hurt someone now. I keep my composure and stick to the game-plan my trainer and I have worked on.

J.S: You mentioned your trainer there, how long have you been working with John David Jackson?

R.B: We've been working together since around '05 or '06, but back then he didn't live here in Miami, and he'd work with me and then go home. But he's been with me for my last four fights, now that he's moved here indefinitely. The public haven't given John his credit. But we are working so hard to make sure he gets the credit he deserves. We want him to get the trainer of the year award, period.

J.S: You are now the number-one in the IBF at 140, but we hear Juan Urango, the IBF champ, is going up to face Andre Berto at welterweight. Will you face him, or has any other fighter been mentioned as the guy you might fight for the vacant belt?

R.B: No names have been mentioned to me. I'm not focusing on Juan Urango, I'm focusing on the world title. It doesn't matter who I fight for the title. But anyway, Urango is fighting Berto in May, and after that he may fight me. He has 90 days to make his mandatory, but they [the IBF] may give him another 30 days in case he needs more time after the Berto fight. I don't care who I fight, but hopefully it will be in either August or September.

J.S: You've given us so many great fights and great KO's in your career. Who would you say is the toughest guy you've ever faced?

R.B: I'd say Hector Lopez (laughs). He was a veteran when I fought him (Bailey winning by 9th round TKO in a Dec. 1999 defence of his WBO 140-pound title). He gave me a real tough challenge. I couldn't believe some of the things he was doing in the ring!

J.S: The 140-pound division of today is full of talent. Do you feel you are the biggest puncher at the weight and that you can KO anyone at 140?

R.B: Oh yeah! Definitely. Anyone I land my right hand on, the way I want to land it, they're out.

J.S: Even top guys like Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao? Will you ever get one of those two in the ring, do you think?

R.B: Never. Never. It will never happen. Hatton, Pacquaio, they will never fight a guy like Randall Bailey. Never!

J.S: Because you are too dangerous?

R.B: It's not because I'm too dangerous. It's because they don't want to get knocked out the way I knock fighters out. They can take being KO'd and then people saying to them later, 'Good fight.' They can take that. But getting knocked unconscious, where they wake up and don't know where they're at - they can't take that! They don't want that.

J.S: Well, who would? It's been great speaking with you, champ. For my final question, was the stunning win you scored on Friday one of your very best?

R.B: I haven't seen my best win yet.

(Sincere thanks go to Si Stern for kindly arranging this interview)

Article posted on 08.04.2009

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