By Derek Bonnett: Thirty-four year old boxers are supposed to be transitioning their way out of title contention, not preparing for world championship bouts.
Well, at least that’s how things used to look, but in 2009 boxing aficionados are becoming more and more hesitant to write off a fighter due to his age. What used to be a simple measuring tool in gauging one’s remaining ability has become a more accurate portal toward assessing one’s ring experience.
That’s why Randall "The Knockout King" Bailey and manager Si Stern are supremely confident of victory against Juan Urango on August 28 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The Urango bout will be Bailey’s eighth world title fight since he first won a portion of the 140 pound crown in 1999 by annihilating Carlos Gonzalez inside 41 seconds. In the interim, Bailey has battled Hector Lopez, Ener Julio, Diobelys Hurtado, Demarcus Corley, Ishe Smith, Miguel Cotto, Herman Ngoudjo, and Francisco Figueroa. He’s been cut, rocked, dropped, and stopped over the years, but he’s offered it right back in return with a deadly left hook and one of the best right hands in boxing today.
"It feels good having earned my position and I’m ready for this fight like no other," Bailey commented. "Training has been going great and let’s get this down in quotes. Anybody who gets in the ring with The Knockout King should be worried because the King is coming to fight."
Bailey, 39-6 (35), had to get through two tough title eliminators to earn this opportunity. His most recent is a strong candidate for 2009’s KO of the Year. Anyone who saw Bailey’s up from the canvas fourth round KO of Francisco Figueroa can give testimonial to the frightening circumstances which can arise in the ring when the King comes to fight.
Bailey and Urango, 21-2-1 (16), are no strangers to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Bailey, a native of Miami, has fought there three times while, the Colombian-born Floridian, Urango has practically made it his home and will be making his tenth appearance come August 28.
" I’ve never seen Randall this focused," Stern stated. "Being at the Hard Rock is great for Randall. From Key West to Miami, they will all be there for him and it should be a great advantage. I expect a big win."
Stern went on some more and spoke about Randall’s plight to get to where he is today and how another world championship will impact his career and Team Bailey’s future endeavors.
" It’s been a tough road up to here. As you know, no one wanted to fight Randall," Stern asserted. "It took a great effort on our part and the help of Lou DiBella to bring him back to this point. We will have a special enjoyment if Randall wins since they were both Seminole Warrior fighters at one time and Leon Margolis refused to put Urango in against Bailey. Now, he has no choice. Leon felt Randall would never fight for the world title after I took him over. He said he was too old."
Urango will enjoy a six year age advantage and, even though he is built like a middleweight, the southpaw IBF champion stands two inches shorter than his challenger. Urango stepped up in weight this past May in an unsuccessful attempt to capture a portion of the welterweight crown against Andre Berto. Coming back down in weight might be a challenge for the champion.
" I really don’t know [if moving back to 140 will hurt Urango]. When we get in the ring, I’ll see what he has to offer and I’ll get to work," Bailey stated. " [When he fought Ricky Hatton and Berto] that was their fight. I expect him to make as many changes as he can."
Making changes is what surviving in the sport of boxing is all about. Since teaming up with John David Jackson as his trainer, Bailey’s right hand has become even sneakier as it hides behind a quick jab at the speed of sound and has caught opponents like Anthony Mora and Figueroa completely unaware before putting them to sleep.
"There isn’t a better trainer than John David Jackson," Stern claimed. "In fact, he ended up sparring with Randall this past week -- great sparring partner! Let’s hope it all works out and you’ll be interviewing Randall as the champion of the world."
Sparring with a former middleweight champion is one way to get ready for a junior welterweight champion who is built like a 160 pounder.
Outcome aside, the result of this IBF junior welterweight championship bout should be satisfying for all viewers watching at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino or LIVE
On the undercard, American light heavyweight Tavoris Cloud will make the boldest move of his career in meeting seasoned former world champion Clinton Woods in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds to fill the vacant IBF light heavyweight championship.
The entire Warriors promoted card will be broadcast LIVE
on SecondsOuttv.com and will be exclusive to viewers in the UK and Ireland. The above card will NOT be available to viewers in North America.
For more information, pricing and a schedule of upcoming LIVE events and much more click here
August 24, 2009