Randall Bailey is focused and ready for title shot!

It has been a long time coming for the man known as “The KO King” Randall Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs). When he turned pro in 1996 at the age of 21 he immediately set the stage for his career winning his first 21 fights all by knockout, picking up the WBO Jr. Welterweight title along the way. Now after a 16 year career filled with ups and downs, Bailey has fought his way to the top of title contention again being ranked #2 by the IBF. On June 9th on the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Randall will go against the #1 ranked IBF contender, Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBF Welterweight Championship. When speaking with Randall recently I asked if there was anything different he was doing to prepare for this in which he calmly replies “Training has been great, we’re not doing anything really different. We added A strength and conditioning coach, we’re adding more muscle and power to my game but that’s it.”

The question of course, is at 37 years of age, is he being looked at as a stepping stone for Jones and does he still have the same type of power that carried him through most of his career? Bailey doesn’t seem bothered by this at all saying “Hey I don’t know what they are doing but if they are looking past me that’s his problem, when he lands on his ass they will be the ones looking surprised. So let him look past me” Bailey replied. “Moving from 140 to 147 the weight has been great, I feel way better now and I feel very, very strong at 147 I can’t even explain the feeling its crazy.” Jones has been known to be an elusive opponent especially in his rematch with Jesus Soto-Karass and is steadily improving, Bailey seems unfazed by all of this. “The first fight I did think Soto-Karass won. The rematch Jones just pity patted and boxed all night and he headed butted him over and over so he threw the man’s game off. That’s all were worried about is his head butts, I just hope we have a decent ref cause he butts a lot of people. I’m not worried about his combos, his power, his footwork, none of that”

It prompted me to ask if he felt he would be able to land that tremendous right hand in which he cut me off firmly saying “How many fights have I had where I haven’t been able to land my right hand? Even if I didn’t knock ‘em out, who has not been hit? Everybody has been hit, everyone got hit man. Now some went to sleep, some didn’t, some went down, some didn’t, so it’s not is he gonna get hit with it cause he is gonna get hit, it’s how is he gonna react with it!” That definitely seemed to get that Bailey fire going so I continued to poke, asking Bailey if he had studied tapes of Jones. “I’ve watched enough of him, I’m done watching him man. I started watching him before I even started camp, we knew exactly what we had to do when we started camp.” At this point, Bailey is extremely relaxed and ready to go to war, he is not looking past Jones at all but he acknowledges the future “For all the years I’ve been in boxing I never got the names I wanted to fight, I never fought Zab Judah, Kostya Tszyu, Sharmba Mitchell, Arturo Gatti . . . It don’t even matter to me anymore man after this fight I’ll just take the next person in line.”

With the tremendous knockout power Bailey has proven time and time again it isn’t hard to see why he is one of the most avoided fighters in the sport of boxing right now, especially in the red hot division he is currently in. The comparison to Julian “The Hawk” Jackson comes to mind, Julian was a killer in the Jr. Middleweight division in the early 90s with an impressive record of 55-6, 49 knockouts, much like Bailey only six men have lasted the distance. Bailey acknowledges this, but still re assures that he is training for a hard twelve round fight. Since the first bout was so close with Jesus Soto-Karass, a rematch was inevitable, Bailey doesn’t feel that will happen here “A rematch all depends man, if I knock him out then it makes no sense. He will wake up talking ‘bout can I have a rematch? All that’s going to happen is I’m gonna put him back to sleep.” Bailey is in a great place mentally right now and is determined not to let this opportunity slip by. The chance of a long awaited rematch with Miguel Cotto, the possibility of unifying with the winner of Pacquiao vs. Bradley, and much, much more all hang in the balance. But Bailey doesn’t care “Man I just want June 9th to get here. Let’s make this shit happen!”

Watch Bailey vs. Jones live on June 9th on the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Bradley line on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. It may go the whole twelve, it may not. I can promise you one thing for sure, Randall Bailey is more ready than he has ever been and is going to give the young Jones the biggest test of his career.

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