Newly-crowned IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey will make the first defense of his crown opposite ex-IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander in a Showtime-televised bout from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., on Sept. 8, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
Bailey (43-7, 37 knockouts), of Miami, was last in the ring for an 11th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) for the vacant title last month. Bailey-Jones took place on the undercard of a split-decision victory by Tim Bradley which dethroned Manny Pacquiao for the WBO’s welterweight crown.
Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs), of St. Louis, Mo., is coming off consecutive triumphs over Argentine countrymen Lucas Matthysse (31-2, 29 KOs) in June of last year and Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28 KOs) in February by split- and unanimous decision, respectively.
“This is a great double-header for Memphis in two weight classes,” said Schaefer. “Randall Bailey is defending his title, and Devon Alexander trying to take it and to become world champion again in that very competitive 147-pound weight class.”
On the Bailey-Alexander undercard, Matthysse will pursue his fourth straight knockout against unbeaten Nigerian southpaw Ajose Olusegun (30-0, 14 KOs).
“At 140 pounds, we’ll get to see Lucas Matthysse, who is maybe one of the top two or three best at 140-pounds, if not, the top guy,” said Schaefer.
“He’s going against Ajose, who is one of those typical, hard-fighting guys from Africa, and he’s going to be in a helluva showdown with Matthysse.”
Matthysse scored his third straight knockout victory over former WBC 130-pound and lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto (58-8-2, 34 KOs) in the fifth round last month, ending the Mexican’s 15-bout winning streak that had included six knockouts.
Olusegun is coming off September’s unanimous decision over Canada’s Ali Cheba, ending the loser’s eight-fight winning streak that had included seven stoppages.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com