By Michael Norby: After a brief and unsuccessful jaunt north to the 147lb division earlier in the year, IBF junior welterweight world champion Juan Urango
made a successful return to the ring on Friday night with a hard fought eleventh round stoppage victory over veteran knockout artist Randall Bailey at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA.
Catch all the action and knockdowns from Friday’s championship showdown between Juan Urango
and Randall Bailey On Demand at SecondsOutTv.com
from 10 am GMT today(Aug 30)
Ten years after he picked up the WBO version of the world title with a first round knockout of Carlos Gonzalez, Bailey 39-7 (35) must have thought the glory days were back when he floored the champion with a stunning right hand in the sixth round. Bloodied and swollen, Urango 22-2-1 (16) was badly staggered but he fought like a champion – catching up to his opponent in the ninth, knocking him to the floor three times before Bailey’s corner stopped the contest in the eleventh.
Both guys were a little tentative in the opening seconds as they rolled their shoulders and plotted their attacks in the center of the ring. Bailey was the first to move as he connected with his famous right hand a minute into the round and supported that with a well timed uppercut not long after as Urango tried to close the distance. The veteran landed another pair of right hands in the closing stages of an otherwise modestly contested first three minutes – a worrying sign for those expecting fireworks.
Bailey got on his toes in the second and shot out his jab – circling the heavily muscled champion and not allowing him an opportunity to set a rhythm. Urango kept up the pressure, though, and landed a straight left hand upstairs midway through the round and thumped Bailey with a string of hooks to the body in the final minute as he began to coral the veteran.
Bailey was attempting to time his shots and he scored with several in both the third and fourth rounds as Urango plodded slowly inside without the benefit of a jab. The champion managed to whip out several prolonged combinations late in the fourth, however, and trumped the modest output of Bailey – heralding his finest round thus far.
Almost exclusively campaigning with his right hand, Bailey scored well from distance but had little answer for Urango’s short game which ensured a hard to score contest as the fight reached the middle rounds. Bailey found gold in the sixth, however, as he sent Urango sprawling to the floor with a perfectly timed right hand to the head that opened a nasty cut under the right eye of the champion.
The Colombian got up, shook it off poured forward in pursuit of his opponent. He appeared to score his own knockdown later in the round when Bailey’s glove seemed to touch the floor after an exchange on the inside. Nevertheless, Urango fought well for the remainder of the frame and he continued to score to the body in the seventh as Bailey seemed content to bide his time and zero in on his opponent’s damaged eye with single shots.