Nobody really would have blamed Randall Bailey if he’d called it a career way back in 2004, after up ‘n comer Miguel Cotto cut him up and stopped him in the sixth round of their scrap.
Bailey had his 15 minutes of fame, enjoyed slipping a few belts around his waist, and tucked away some earnings. But Bailey didn’t exit at that sensible juncture. Instead, he remade himself, and worked on becoming a complete package, instead of a mere bomber. Not an easy task, overcoming more than a decade of traits and tendencies. But sonofagun, if it isn’t five years later, and Randall Bailey has successfully remodeled himself, and after his fourth round KO of Frankie Figueroa at the Pepsi Pavilion in Memphis, Tennesse on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, the revamped pugilist is a step away from a title shot at the IBF 140 pound champion, Juan Urango. Bailey sent Figgy down in the first, and himself went down in the second, so this bout had plentiful action packed into 10 minutes of tussling.
After his kayo rubout, which came at 1:46 of the fourth, Bailey hugged his trainer, John David Jackson, and nearly squeezed the ribs out of him. Meanwhile, Figueroa lay on the canvas, as doctors made sure he wasn’t compromised neurologically speaking. He then sat up, and then stood up, and offered the victor a hug after the win was announced.
Bailey (5-9, 139 ½; age 34; from Miami, Florida; former light welter champion) came in with a 38-6 mark, with 34 knocks, while Frankie Figgy (5-6, 139 ½; age 30, from the Bronx; former NY Golden Gloves champ) was 20-2, with 13 stops. “Winning is everything, I have to win, and I will win,” Figgy said before the scrap.
In the first, the 13-year-pro Bailey, who has concentrated more on basics than on being a one-punch bomber the last couple of years, bombed away with the right. He sent the lefty Figgy down to the mat with a right just 45 seconds in. The New Yorker looked like he was clear, and his legs seemed strong. Maybe he was cursed because he was wearing one black and one white boxing boot? Fig worked to the body, and slipped smartly after the early misstep. In round two, Bailey hit the mat, off a combo. He was up quickly too. But he hugged to get his head back in shape.
In round three, no one went down! Fig went down in the fourth, though, and he didn’t get up this time. Right as Teddy Atlas was talking about how Fig wasn’t moving to his right enough, away from Bailey’s right, bang! Bailey blasted him with a right, on the chin, that sent Figgy down like he was hit with a water cannon. His eyes were closed, as he lay on his back, and the ref really didn’t need to count. Bailey camoflauged the right with a jab.
Junior middleweight Shawn Porter (from Ohio; 7-0) downed Eloy Suarez (10-5) in the TV opener with a left hook in the first round. He has a mean left hook, and after 280 amateur bouts he’s not afraid to double or triple up that bad boy. He’s on the TSS Prospect Watch list.
Mississipian Mark Davis (12-0) took a UD from Steve Gonzalez in the second bout of the televised broadcast. Teddy Atlas recommended a sobriety test for a judge who gave Gonzo two rounds.
Brian Kenny, in the studio with BJ Flores, said he thought Roy Jones showed glimpses of his old self in the legend’s last outing, against Omar Sheika. Kenny thinks Mikkel Kessler might be a tough nut to crack for Jones. What do y’all say?
Flores gave thumbs up to the card he and Jones fought on, which was a mixed boxing/MMA event. Kenny gave the concept a thumbs up, because some young MMA fans might find themselves digging boxing when given the opportunity to watch the skill and spectacle.