Southpaw former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander could challenge newly-crowned IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey before Alexander’s partisan fans on Sept. 8 at the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis, Mo., Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, informed RingTV.com on Friday.
Bailey (43-7, 37 knockouts) is coming off an 11th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) for the vacant belt on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on the undercard of a split-decision victory by Tim Bradley which dethroned Manny Pacquiao as WBO welterweight beltholder.
In the aftermath of his triumph, Bailey called out Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs), and the fighters soon agreed in principle to the terms for a Showtime-televised clash that is of extreme interest to Showtime’s President of Sports Programming, Stephen Espinoza.
Promoted by Lou DiBella, Bailey is 37, and Alexander, of Golden Boy, is a 25-year-old who routinely attracts some 10,000 to the Scott Trade Center.
Bailey won his fourth straight bout against Jones, 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, who laughs at Bailey’s assertion that he already had taken the heart out of Urango before Alexander did.
In victor over Jones, 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.
Although he is among the premiere young fighters in boxing, Alexander had to restore what had become a maligned reputation with a unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in February that occurred 15 days after his 25th birthday at the Scottrade Center.
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 current 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.
A bout in St. Louis against Bailey would offer Alexander yet another opportunity to display his overall abilities, including his punching power, before his hometown fans.
MATTHYSSE-AJOSE OLUSEGUN COULD LAND ON THE UNDERCARD
The Bailey-Alexander undercard could feature another junior welterweight clash between Matthysse and Nigerian southpaw Ajose Olusegun (30-0, 14 KOs), a 32-year-old resident of London.
Olusegun is coming off September’s unanimous decision over Canada’s Ali Cheba, ending his eight-bout winning streak that had included seven stoppages.
Schaefer said he is discussing Matthysse (31-2, 29 KOs) with DiBella, who also promotes Olusegun.
Matthysse scored his third straight knockout victory by stopping former WBC 130-pound and lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto (58-8-2, 34 KOs) in the fifth round on June 23, ending the Mexican’s 15-bout winning streak that had included six knockouts.
Matthysse-Olusegun would be for the WBC’s interim belt, according to Schaefer.
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org