Newly-crowned IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey has several options in the wake of his come-from-behind, 11th-round knockout of Philadelphia’s previously unbeaten Mike Jones on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
On Monday, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 knockouts), told RingTV.com that a bout between Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) and Alexander is appealing to Showtime’s President of Sports Programming, Stephen Espinoza, for Aug. 25.
“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.”
Against Jones (26-1, 19 KOs), Bailey won his fourth straight bout, and his second by knockout during that time, having last suffered defeat by 11th-round stoppage against Juan Urango in a failed bid to earn the IBF’s junior welterweight belt in August of 2009.
In his next fight in March of 2010, Urango was dethroned by eighth-round knockout against Alexander, whose trainer, Kevin Cunningham, said he hopes that Bailey “doesn’t do the moonwalk like Michael Jackson and start backing up out of the fight” after having called out Alexander.
“If they really, really want the thing with Devon happen, then I have no problem fighting Devon, but I think that the fight would definitely have to be on a September date,” said Bailey, 37, who fought Jones on the undercard of a split-decision victory by Tim Bradley which dethroned Manny Pacquiao as WBO welterweight beltholder.
“But like I said, fighting Devon is no problem. I just fought probably the biggest welterweight that we have in the division, so Devon is a little dude. No worries. I wasn’t worried about going against a giant, so trust me, I’m not worried about going in there against a full-blown midget.”
Of the fact that Alexander lost to Bradley in January of 2011 by decision, Bailey said, “Tim Bradley doesn’t want a part of fighting me — not even in his wildest dreams.”
IBF President Daryl Peoples informed RingTV.com on Tuesday that Bailey has six months to make a mandatory defense, but under the current scenario, that probably won’t have to happen until much later.
The winner between Brook and Jones will be in line to meet Argentina’s Hector Saldivia (41-2, 32 KOs) for the No. 1 mandatory spot and the right to challenge Bailey.
“There are a few fights out there right now, and we’re going to end up with the best that we can,” said Bailey’s manager, Si Stern. “It’s very early in the game, so you never know. The IBF belt leaves it wide open for us. We’ll see what happens.”
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..
“Anybody that Randall is going to fight, we don’t have any fear of,” said Stern. “We will play it very well so that we get the very best of the situation for Randall Bailey. Randall’s waited a long time to be where he is at.”
LUIS FRANCO-MAURICIO MUNOZ TABBED AS IBF FEATHERWEIGHT ELIMINATOR
Former Cuban Olympian Luis Franco, of Miami, has been directed to face Argentina’s Mauricio Javier Munoz in an IBF featherweight eliminator bout for the right to face organization titleholder Billy Dib of Australia, according to Peoples.
Franco’s promoter, Gary Shaw, could not be immediately be reached.
Franco (11-0, 7 KOs) had been slated to face featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. (19-0, 11 KOs) of Capitol Heights, Md., before Russell opted for a clash with Chris Perez (23-2, 14 KOs) of Mexico on June 30.
Russell-Perez will take place on the undercard of a Showtime-televised, junior middleweight double-header featuring southpaw Erislandy Lara against Freddie Hernandez, and a main event rematch between IBF titleholder Cornelius Bundrage and ex-beltholder Cory Spinks.
The winner between Franco, 30, and Munoz, 26, gets Dib (34-1, 21 KOs).
In Munoz (25-3, 12 KOs), Franco meets a fighter who has won four consecutive bouts, including three straight by stoppage. Munoz last suffered defeat in April of last year when he was knocked out in the ninth round by Toshiaki Nishioka in a failed bid to earn the WBC’s junior featherweight belt .
Munoz had been considered as a potential opponent to WBO beltholder Orlando Salido (38-11-2, 26 KOs), who will instead take a non-title bout against Oscar Bravo (20-3, 9 KOs) of Chile in a 10-round junior lightweight bout on July 28.
Salido (38-11-2, 26 knockouts) is rising in weight following the second of two stoppage wins over Juan Manuel Lopez (31-2, 28 KOs), the first of which earned him the belt.
Salido has his sights on fighters such as WBO junior lightweight titleholder Adrien Broner or the winner of a targeted clash between featherweight contender Miguel “Mikey” Garcia and WBA beltholder Celestino Caballero.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Dwight McCann, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org