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20 NOVEMBER 2018

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Knockout King Seeks Thurman And Berto

Randall Bailey shows off his IBF belt
Randall Bailey shows off his IBF belt

By Derek Bonnett: In boxing, it’s been said that a fighter’s power is the last thing to go. If that adage holds true, Randall Bailey just might have a shot at capturing another world title. For most boxers, a moniker is self-proclaimed or a simple marketing tool. As for Bailey, the name Knockout King embodies everything he has done in the ring and has been backed up time and time again. Whether it was the left hook that flattened Carlos Gonzalez, the right hand that torpedoed Francisco Figueroa, or the uppercut that leveled Mike Jones, Bailey hits with bad intentions and is simply what boxing pundits call a natural puncher. Not since Julian Jackson has a puncher been more natural at the top of the game.


Right now, however, Bailey is not at the top of the game. Since losing his IBF welterweight title back in 2012, the two-division world champion has won a pair of bouts over nearly a three-year span. Time is surely running out on the almost 41 year old Bailey, but nothing can save a fighter from a ticking clock inside of the ring like a knockout punch.


"I just love to fight plain and simple. It’s my passion," Bailey told SecondsOut. "If somebody saying they are tough, I really be wanting to see how tough they are. The purses are good too because I use that to live and take care my family while I do what I love to do."


This past Saturday, Bailey, fighting as a junior middleweight for the first time, dispatched journeyman Gundrick King at the 2:06 mark of round two. Names aside, it was Bailey who brought ammunition into the ring at the Riverdale Center of Arts in Georgia, USA. Bailey’s passion was evident, but the Miami, Florida resident certainly brought a little more with him inside of the squared circle.


"Yes, I still have my power and my foot movement," Bailey assessed. "I may be a tad bit slower just because I’d rather not chase a guy around the ring for twelve rounds if he said he was coming to fight. In my return to the ring June 20, I felt great. My body was strong. My power was very good and I felt really great. My weight for the King bout was 153 and I felt very comfortable; no problems."


Bailey’s 5’9" frame should have no trouble handling the extra poundage. In fact, the added weight just might help improve his stamina. In some of his last welterweight showings, Bailey had trouble getting his punches off and seemed to lack steam. His power saved him against Jones, but he was never able to catch up to Devon Alexander in his title losing effort.


In spite of the ups and downs, Bailey has remained positive. His inactivity has not been a self-imposed decision and fight fans are still willing to rally around the name Randall Bailey.


"My inactivity is simply because guys are turning down fights against me," Bailey stated. "I’ve been calling out Keith Thurman and Andre Berto for the last two years. I can only go to the gym, train hard, and pray my team can secure me another bout before the end of the year. The only change I’ve made is my trainer. I’m training in Orlando with the same guy that trains heavyweight contender Antonio Tarver."


Tarver is in preparation for a big August 14 showdown with Steve "USS" Cunningham in a bout with considerable fan-flavor. The twelve round heavyweight contest will be showcased on the Premiere Boxing Champions series pioneered by Al Haymon. Unfortunately, Bailey has received no such offers to join the PBC stable.


"I haven’t been asked because fighters that fight on Premier Boxing Champions are not willing to fight me, but I’ve been calling," Bailey joked. " I would love to fight at the 147 weight class, but those guys are very scared to fight me. I’ll go up a little and see if I can find something in a new weight class."


Bailey’s problem may be that he has fallen into the high-risk/low(er)-reward category. Few management teams wish to match their fighters with big punchers. That goes double if the puncher’s paws have nabbed him two world titles. The Knockout King, with an intimidating 45-8-0 (38), record still has his hopes up though and he’s motivating himself with a personal goal to avoid another defeat.


"It would hurt my plans of getting fifty wins before ten losses," Bailey commented. "That is my goal before retiring from boxing. I had no injuries so I plan on getting back in the gym this following Monday to stay sharp and ready."


As of this writing, Bailey is back on the heavy bag. As his comeback builds, it is his desire that so does the confidence of Keith Thurman and Andre Berto. Those two names represent very different tasks, but Bailey is certainly no less an obstacle than Thurman’s next opponent Luis Callazo. Berto, also on the comeback trail, would make a fine next fight for Bailey. Berto was lucky to survive his outing against Josesito Lopez and a match-up with Bailey would be equally sizzling.


Hey, Al Haymon! In Randall Bailey you have a former world champion who is ready, willing, and able. You’ve done a great job giving the fans match-ups to get excited over. Let’s see Bailey-Berto this fall.


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June 24, 2015





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