BROOKLYN — The trash-talking will end and the fists will begin flying when former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander challenges IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey on Saturday night at Barclays Center.
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 vs. Manny Pacquiao in June, and has vowed to use his well-known KO power to deliver an “ass whooping” upon Alexander.
Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs), meanwhile, is coming off consecutive wins over hard-hitting Argentine countrymen Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana by split- and unanimous decision, respectively, and does not believe the aging Bailey to be any better.
The win over Jones was Bailey’s fourth straight victory, 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 knocked out in the eighth round by fellow lefthander Alexander, 25, who has scoffed at Bailey’s assertion that he already had taken the heart out of Urango.
Will the youth and guile of Alexander triumph over the age and experience of Bailey, who calls himself, “The KO King?”
RingTV.com polled several insiders for their thoughts on the fight.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: Since we’re making “picks,” I have to give myself the best chance I can of winning.
Randall Bailey isn’t going to win a decision–his only hope is to starch Devon Alexander. While he’s perfectly capable of doing that, the percentages are in favor of Devon out-boxing him for 12 rounds.
Unlike Mike Jones, Devon has a high enough punch volume and knowledge of distance to stay away from the home run shot. Alexander by 12-round unanimous decision.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: Everybody knows about Randall Bailey’s one punch-power. It makes him dangerous. But it doesn’t make him versatile, and that’s the problem for boxing’s home-run hitter.
Bailey doesn’t do the little things. Devon Alexander does. He knows how to stay away from Bailey’s single dimension while exercising his many-sided attack in a one-sided victory on the scorecards.
Devon Alexander W 12 Randall Bailey: Devon Alexander looked excellent in his welterweight debut against Marcos Maidana, both in terms of physique and in technical execution.
It’s doubtful that he’ll be consumed with fear over Randall Bailey’s vaunted right hand the way Mike Jones appeared to be in June.
The 38-year-old “Knockout King” can still crack, but Bailey can also be out-boxed. Alexander will do just that.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: Randall Bailey is a big puncher, so he is always in every fight until the final bell rings. Devon Alexander is the better boxer.
Alexander has shown that ability to use those boxing skills to gain big leads in all of his fights. I see that being the same in this fight. Alexander by wide unanimous decision.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: The hard-hitting Randall Bailey will be dangerous right up until the final bell, but Devon Alexander isn’t Mike Jones.
He is experienced, has been successful at the top level and will be able to out-box Bailey by coming at him from different angles and throwing combinations.
Alexander has displayed a solid chin against good punchers, yet also proved against another dangerous banger, Marcos Maidana, that he’s not too proud to hold when he needs to buy time or avoid unnecessary exchanges.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: I was thrilled by Randall Bailey’s knockout of Mike Jones. He showed, once again, that no matter, the punch is the last thing to leave a fighter.
He can still bang, and truth is, Devon Alexander can be hurt and dropped by a big right hand. However, I just don’t think Randall, at the age of 38, is going to be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice.
Bailey will be nowhere near as active as Lucas Matthysse was against Devon. I see Alexander moving, staying busy, controlling the entire fight and scoring a wide unanimous decision. However, if Randall does land that Sunday shot…
Devon Alexander W 12 Randall Bailey: Yeah, I know Randall Bailey is the bigger man and has knockout power, but Devon Alexander is superior to Mike Jones, and will not fall prey to the Bailey bomb. Alexander by points.
Devon Alexander TKO 11 Randall Bailey: Devon Alexander wins by 11th round technical knockout versus Randall Bailey.
The winner of this IBF welterweight title bout will supposedly meet the winner of Kell Brook-Hector Saldivia, which is happening in Sheffield, England, the same night.
I fancy it will be the 25-year-old Alexander, having taken the 38-year-old Bailey’s belt in style, defending against unbeaten British contender Brook some time next year.
Devon Alexander W 12 Randall Bailey: I like Devon Alexander to outbox Randall Bailey over twelve rounds. Bailey’s punch is incredible, and as evidenced by his victory over Mike Jones on June 9th, he’ll always be in the fight. I just feel that Alexander will be on his game and command the action.
Devon Alexander W 12 Randall Bailey: Randall Bailey beating Mike Jones was a great story, but let’s not forget — apologies to Paul Harvey — the rest of the story. Bailey hasn’t beaten many of the better fighters he’s faced in the last ten-plus years.
Devon Alexander, off a nice win over Marcos Maidana, is one of the better fighters. He’ll box circles around Bailey en route to a lop sided decision or late stoppage.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: Devon Alexander is a better boxer and athlete than Randall Bailey. I wonder about Alexander’s heart, though.
I wonder what will happen with a savage puncher like Bailey rains punches down on him. I’ll go out on a limb here and say he’ll not only hold up, but prove to be tougher than some believe he is.
Alexander will take the best Bailey has to offer and use his superior skills to outbox him and win a unanimous decision.
Randall Bailey W 12 Devon Alexander: Randall Bailey will come through once again with a very hard fought and sometimes very difficult decision over Devon Alexander.
Devon Alexander UD 12 Randall Bailey: I don’t expect Devon Alexander to take too many chances, but I think his greater workrate and the youth advantage will be too much for Randall Bailey.
Devon Alexander W 12 Randall Bailey: Randall Bailey has a knockout punch capable of taking anyone out, as Mike Jones shockingly discovered in June.
But Devon Alexander is much quicker than Jones, and knowing what he now knows, will keep his distance and not allow Bailey to get the home-run shot in.
Because if he does, he’ll be on his back. But Alexander will outwork Bailey for 12 rounds and win by decision.
By 13-1, the experts have Devon Alexander avoiding the knockout blow for a victory that will dethrone the aging Randall Bailey as the IBF’s welterweight titleholder.
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com