Boxing’s ‘KO King’ Having Trouble Finding Opponents
To the world’s welterweights, former two-time world champion Randall “The Knock-Out King” Bailey (44-8, 37 KOs) is like the dentist’s office… you only go there if you have to and when you do, you’ll probably get drilled.
Being blessed as one of the sport of boxing’s deadliest punchers of the past 20 years has become a curse for Bailey, because he can’t seem to talk anyone into a ring to fight him. Despite his relatively advanced age of 39, Bailey’s mix of a dependable chin and granite fists continue to make him a very dangerous opponent for anyone in the world.
“I hit too hard for most guys to take the risk,” admits Bailey. “If I get a fight, it’s because there’s no way around it. They have to fight me. Nobody is picking me. Nobody says ‘you know what? I want to fight someone tough.’ If it’s not a mandatory and they can get around me, they all do.”
Against Bailey, you can run for your life and try to win on points, find a bizarre way out of the fight, or stand and trade and probably end up asleep. No matter which way you choose, you will not look good in the end.
Cases in point, Bailey’s last three fights:
In June of 2012, Bailey won the IBF Welterweight Championship by dropping twice and knocking out then-undefeated Mike Jones, despite landing just 18 power punches the entire fight. The normally aggressive Jones fought surprisingly cautiously and was well on his way to a decision victory before catching Bailey right hands in the tenth and eleventh rounds.
In October 2012, Bailey lost his title to Devon Alexander in one of the most boring title fights in recent boxing history. Unable to corner the younger and ultra-cautious Alexander, Bailey dropped a wide unanimous decision.
And after 13 months of inactivity in November of last year, Bailey was controlling respectable veteran Humberto Toledo for eight rounds before Toledo decided he’d had enough of Bailey’s power, took a knee in ring center, then jumped up and shoved the referee. Toledo was immediately disqualified.
“I always get the runaround,” continued Bailey. “I sent an offer to a promoter the other day and they basically told me they don’t want to match me with their guy and because I’ll beat him and they’re trying to make their money back they put into him. Or I get a fight and they shut the show down. I had a fight scheduled for June 7. They tried to get out of it, but the IBF made them take the fight. So, then they went all the way up to the week of the event and canceled it. Then they rescheduled the event and didn’t put me on the show. My fight disappeared somehow.”
With bills to pay and time running out on his career despite his clean-living lifestyle, Bailey says he’s forced to start taking drastic measures.”
“I want to fight somebody who stands and fights, not somebody who is going to run around the ring and make us both look bad. I want to give the fans some all-action fights to end my career with. Alfonso Gomez, (current Interim WBA World Champion) Keith Thurman and (former two-time world champion) Andre Berto are three guys I really want to fight. I’ve decided to try to stir the pot on my own. I’m sending out a challenge to Alfonso Gomez’s promoters. I will fight their man for free! Just to get my career rolling again. Set it up and I’ll fight him for nothing. I know when I was coming up I fought all the older opponents that had been around for a while, to add them to my resume. On their side, you can’t make more business sense than that. Make it happen.”
Bailey says he’s made his remarkable offer directly to Golden Boy, Gomez’s promoters, and so far heard nothing.
“I’m using all the help I can find. I don’t have any enemies in boxing, so I’m reaching out to everybody I feel can help me. They’re doing their best but these guys are not eager to fight me.”
Given his God-given power and durability, and matched with the right opponents, Randall Bailey could still deliver several exciting and fan-friendly punch-outs with similar-minded sluggers.
But until he finds some willing opponents, he remains boxing’s version of a nagging toothache.