A bout between newly-crowned IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey and former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander is being considered for Aug. 25 on Showtime, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“I saw a story last week on one of the sites, and Randall Bailey called out Devon Alexander and said that he even went as far as to go his then-promoter, Don King, and to beg for the fight,” said Schaefer.
“I quickly got a call from Team Alexander, and they told me that Devon is not going to turn down anybody and that he would be happy to fight Randall Bailey. As we all know, I have a date for Devon’s comeback, and that’s Aug. 25 on Showtime.”
Schaefer said that Bailey-Alexander was appealing to Stephen Espinoza, Showtime’s president of sports programming.
“I talked to Stephen last week, and he said that he would be happy to do that fight. Nothing has happened, we’re just working on it,” said Schaefer. “But he has approved that fight, so as a result of that, I believe that Devon has made some comments that he would be happy to fight him.”
Bailey (43-7, 37 knockouts) is coming off an 11th-round knockout of Philadelphia’s Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) on the June 9 undercard of a split-decision victory by Tim Bradley which dethroned Manny Pacquiao as WBO welterweight beltholder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Bailey’s promoter, Lou DiBella, agreed that Alexander is a possible first defense for the fighter.
“There is a possibility, but Randall just fought recently and he’s not a young fighter. Until he knocked out Jones, it wasn’t an easy fight,” said DiBella of Bailey, who is 37. “I have to talk to Randall and his people about it, and whether that can be done. I’ll be speaking with him later today.”
Known for his powerful, lights-out right hand, Bailey landed two of those punches — dropping Jones once in the 10th and again in the 11th of a clash Jones had been dominating up to that point.
Jones led by 99-91, 98-92, and, 97-93 on the judges’ cards prior to being dropped for good with 10 seconds left in the final round.
In victory, Bailey earned the IBF’s vacant belt. He won his first title via a first-round knockout of Carlos Gonzalez to win the WBO’s junior welterweight crown in May of 1999. His record at the time was 18-0, all by stoppage.
The win over Gonzalez marked Bailey’s 13th first-round knockout, after which he defended twice to improve to 20-0, all by knockout, before losing the title to Ener Julio by split-decision in July of 2000.
Bailey went to 24-1 with 24 knockouts after earning the WBA’s interim title with a third-round knockout of Demetrios Ceballos in February of 2002, but was stopped for the first time in his next bout by Diosbelys Hurtado..
“Randall Bailey looked spectacular in that knockout to win over Jones for the IBF title, and he’s always been one of the most dangerous punchers in boxing,” said Alexander’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham.
“It’s a classic matchup between pure boxer and one-punch knockout artist. We would love to get the opportunity to fight for title and give Devon the opportunity to become a three-time world champion.”
Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) restored his reputation as one of the best young talents in the game with a unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in February that occurred 15 days after his 25th birthday before a partisan crowd at the Scottrade Center in his native St. Louis, Mo.
In victory over Maidana, Alexander rebounded from a series of lackluster performances, having lost his WBC junior welterweight belt following an 11th-round technical decision loss to Bradley in January of last year, and escaped with a 10-round decision win over Lucas Matthysse in June.
Prior to facing Bradley, Alexander won a disputed decision over former titleholder Andriy Kotelnik in August of 2009, and blamed extreme weight loss for the efforts against Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthysse.
Having faced Kotelnik and Matthysse in St. Louis Family Arena and Scottrade Center, respectively, Alexander was perceived to have benefited from home-cooking by the judges.
“I hope that the fight happens, because I heard Randall Bailey on a radio interview last week where he said that he’s always wanted to fight Devon and called Devon out. When Devon was with Don King, he even went to Don King’s office and asked to fight Devon,” said Cunningham.
“We had never heard anything about any of that. So now that we’ve actually heard him calling Devon out, here’s the the opportunity. You’ve got Showtime ready to approve the fight. Devon has responded with ‘let’s do it,’ so I hope that Bailey e doesn’t do the moonwalk like Michael Jackson and start backing up out of the fight.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org