Perfect uppercut caps shocking come-from-behind win
By: Mike Sloan ringside in Las Vegas: Randall Bailey was losing. He was losing badly and it seemed likely that he was going to almost get shut out for 12 rounds. Mike Jones was winning every minute of every round while Bailey was trying to land just one right hand. It looked grim for “The Knockout King” because he appeared to be unable to pull the trigger.
When he did, the tides turned. When he pulled the trigger a second time, the fight was over.
Just like that.
Jones was putting on a clinic – albeit a boring one – for nine-plus rounds all the while Bailey was trying to uncork his cocked right hand. He seemed reluctant to let his hands go and let virtually every round slip through his fingers. Head trainer John David Jackson was yelling, begging for him to open up but Bailey either wouldn’t or couldn’t.
Finally, late in the tenth round Bailey launched a straight right hand down the pike and it landed on Jones’ jaw. He fell flat on his back and it seemed like the fight was over, but the Philadelphia fighter sprung back onto his feet. He was shaken but as able to survive the round, saved by the bell.
If there was a chance that Miami, Florida fighter could turn the fight around and score the come-from-behind knockout, it was to be early in the eleventh. Jones came out in said round and was on steady legs, the cobwebs seemingly cleared from his head. Bailey retreated to his shell and wasn’t throwing punches again and it appeared as though the window of opportunity had slammed shut on his face.
Then the right uppercut came and the fight was over.
Late in the round Jones leaned forward and tried to land a punch, but it was too late. Bailey detonated a perfectly-time hand grenade on his face, ending the fight. Jones’ nose was shattered instantly and fell flat on his back. He tried to get up but he was like a trout out of a lake and floundering all over the canvas. He rolled into the ropes, rolled out and tried getting up, only to tumble back onto his face. Referee Tony Weeks had reached the count of ten by then and blood was cascading out of Jones’ nose. The official time of the knockout was 2:52 of the frame.
It was arguably Bailey’s greatest victory in terms of sheer destruction and how far behind on the cards he was. He killed Jones’ unblemished professional record and kept his career afloat all in the same punch. Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) was an emotional wreck after the fight, uncontrollably sobbing after pulling off such a miraculous knockout.
Jones’ decision to wear 8oz gloves instead of ten against a murderous puncher the likes of Bailey was all the rage ringside, but in all actuality, that punch would have done the same amount of damage regardless of glove size. Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) was not regretful afterward for choosing the smaller gloves and proclaimed that he’ll grow from his first loss and be a better fighter in the future.
Where Bailey goes from here is anybody’s guess but it is probable that he’ll find himself on another major card in the near future taking on another credible opponent. While he was losing badly and looked rather old and plodding, his last minute heroics were so sensational that his knockout of Jones will surely leave an indelible impression on the masses.
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