BROOKLYN– IBF welterweight titleholder Randall Bailey poked his fork into the lettuce in his salad on Wednesday evening and stuffed a healthy portion into his mouth.
After several more such maneuvers, Bailey was staring at an empty salad bowl, although the uneaten croutons had been placed aside.
“I’m already weighing about 148 [pounds,]” said Bailey, 38, sitting with camp members in a restaurant at the Marriott Hotel. “Man, I’m focused and I’m ready to go.”
Bailey is looking to dine just as voraciously upon southpaw challenger against Devon Alexander as part of Saturday night’s Showtime-televised quadrupleheader at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Garcia-Morales, and, Bailey-Alexander are two of four title bouts on the show, which also includes Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi’s WBA welterweight title defense agains Pablo Cesar Cano, IBF welterweight titleholder Randall Bailey first defense and “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin‘s challenge to WBO middleweight titleholder Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.
Bailey is in New York for only the third time in his career, although he was victorious during his previous visits. Bailey fought at B B King’s Restaurant in 2008, when he stopped Dairo Esalas in the first round in August, and decisioned ex-beltholder DeMarcus Corley in October.
Bailey (43-7, 37 knockouts) is coming off a come-from-behind 11th-round knockout of Philadelphia’s Mike Jones on the undercard of Tim Bradley‘s controversial split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in June.
Bailey is planning similar fate for Alexander.
“Normally, I don’t like to talk, but Kevin has been going off and saying a whole lot of stuff, so I have to say what I’ve got to say. I don’t want them to think that they’re coming into the ring with somebody they think they can muscle around and say whatever they want to say,” said Bailey.
“I’ve already told them my game plan. I’m coming into the ring and coming for him. I’m coming to him. If they thought that it was a game, and they thought that it was a lot of talk, they’re going to see on Saturday night. I’m going to be able to cut off the ring if he plans on moving a lot. I’m going to make him fight.”
Bailey admits to being more motivated for Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) than he was for Jones or any other opponent, thanks, in large part to trash talk that has persisted between himself and Alexander’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham.
“Up until now, the [prefight hypes] have been sort of boring. But this has really brought in a lot of excitement to my fight, because it’s keeping me focused and more excited about fighting. I like to fight. I’m going to get old school on him,” said Bailey, who has promised to deliver an “ass whooping” to Alexander.
“I’m not angry at Devon. It’s amusing to me. It’s just bringing out the best me. If I’m pushed to talk, then I’ll talk. I can do that with the best of them. But at the end of the day, somebody’s got to get into the ring and take this beating, and it ain’t going to be the trainer.”
Others on the show’s undercard are middleweight contender Danny Jacobs, of Brooklyn, Brooklyn-born ex-beltholder Luis Collazo, of Queens, welterweight Dmitriy Salita, of Brooklyn, Bronx-born Honduran junior middleweight prospect Eddie Gomez and junior middleweight prospect Boyd Melson, of White Plains, N.Y.
“Everybody’s in the fight that they want to be in. I don’t know how tough Morales is going to be for Garcia. I don’t know how tough Cano is going to be for Malignaggi,” said Bailey.
“I don’t even know who Kid Chocolate is fighting. Me myself, the only person I’m worried about is Devon Alexander, the guy I’m fighting.”
It won’t be business as usual, said Bailey, until after his business with Alexander is done.
“When I get out of the ring, I may stick around just a little bit,” said Bailey. “But if we don’t have a post-fight press conference, I’m out. I’ll come and do my job, and then, once my job is done, then I’m back in my room relaxing.”
Garcia will earn $1 million compared to $300,000 for Morales, Alexander is slated to receive $600,000 to Bailey’s $500,000, N’Jikam will pocket $400,000 to Quillin’s $150,000, and Malignaggi will take home $350,000 to $150,000 for Cano according to figures reported by ESPN.com that were provided by an official with the New York State Athletic Commission.
Jacobs will earn $15,000 to $11,000 for rival Josh Luteran, Salita and rival Brandon Hoskins are slated to earn $10,000 each, and Collazo, $15,000 to opponent Steve Upsher’s $8,000.
Also, Gomez is getting $5,000 to $3,000 for Saul Benitez, and Melson, $2,000 to rival Jason Thompson’s $2,500.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org