Although the hard-punching Bailey (43-8, 37 knockouts) had hoped to at some point land his vaunted right hand against Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs), the one-punch KO never materialized as a result of the superior boxing skills and angles employed by his 25-year-old adversary.
The setback ended Bailey’s run of four straight wins, the last being his come-from-behind 11th-round knockout of Philadelphia’s previously unbeaten Mike Jones on the undercard of Tim Bradley vs. Manny Pacquiao in June.
In victory over Jones, Bailey earned his first title since a first-round knockout of Carlos Gonzalez to win the WBO’s junior welterweight crown in May of 1999. Bailey’s record at the time was 18-0, all by stoppage, and he has become known for the concussive, lights-out power in his right hand.
Bailey, who turned 38 in September, had 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 southpaw Alexander.
In this Q&A, Bailey reflected on the loss to Alexander, as well as his plans for the future, including a potential clash with ex-beltholder Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KOs) of Germany.
Zaveck, 36, is coming off a unanimous decision over Bethel Ushona in March that helped him to rebound from September’s fifth-round knockout loss to Andre Berto that dethroned him as IBF welterweight titleholder.
RingTV.com: What is next for you?
Randall Bailey: I know what kinds of fights that I do well in, and I know what kinds of fights have pretty much given me problems. Devon’s a mover and he’s young.
So, you know, put me in there with somebody who is going to fight a little bit. I think somebody like Jan Zaveck, (his) style and my style are pretty much head-to-head.
Because you can see that, in the Andre Berto fight, the only thing that was the difference in that fight was that Berto was able to turn him a good amount in the fight. But then there was a head butt and they had to stop it.
RingTV.com: Is there a timetable as to when you want to fight again?
RB: Hopefully, by February. Me and Jan Zaveck have been talking about doing something. So, I guess that when [Bailey's promoter] Lou DiBella is able to get back into the office, we’ll probably head in that direction.
Because Zaveck has been pretty much talking about it on Twitter. Twitter has worked to make a lot of fights these days. Twitter has been active, and me and Zaveck have been going back and forth on Twitter.
Zaveck is saying that he’s up for it, and I know that I’m up for it, so, I think that we’ll see what we can do about making it happen.
RingTV.com: What have you seen in watching the Alexander fight?
RB: I just felt like that night was his night. I’ve watched the fight, and I was just barely missing him. I mean, I was just inches from hitting him.
God has a plan for everybody, and it’s just that that night wasn’t my night. Devon was moving really good, but his punches weren’t affecting me at all.
Looking back, I don’t see any reason why I wasn’t hitting him. Because I’ve looked, and I was just a hair, I mean, just a hair away from hitting him with that right hand.
RingTV.com: Was there a point during the fight where you felt that it got away from you?
RB: I just couldn’t get it going at all, and he did enough to do what he had to do, and that’s just it. I can’t take anything away from Devon, he did exactly what he had to do and exactly what he was supposed to do.
RingTV.com: What could you have done differently?
RB: I think that maybe I should have made moves to work his body a lot earlier and stayed away from his head. Because [Alexander's trainer] Kevin Cunningham, he had him tucked and tying up.
They did that as they saw every head shot that I was going to probably try to hit him with. So, when i did throw a hook, I landed it, but it didn’t land probably how it should have landed it.
And when I did throw a right hand, it wasn’t positioned right for me to really nail him with it. When I did hit him with the right hands, they were really soft.
I never really was able to land a good, solid, Randall Bailey right hand on him. I just feel like, you know, that certain styles are going to make for exciting fights for me.
I feel that guys who want to move around and box, I’m way past that stage. So I want to fight a little longer, but I want to fight guys that want to fight and guys that feel the same way that I feel.
Those are the types of fights that I want to be involved in from now on. I want to be in there against guys that want to get in there and let it all hang out.
RingTV.com: What hope do you have of facing guys who are willing to risk their records against you?
RB: Well, I have a lot of respect for the IBF, and there’s a lot of guys in the division who are still trying to fight, and who I’m sure that I can beat. You know, Devon is 25 years old, so this was just a matter of youth, you know?
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com