KEY WEST, Fla. (August 14, 2012) - The "Conch" population increased last month when the City of Key West declared July 28, 2012, as "Randall Bailey Day," honoring local favorite Randall "The Knockout King" Bailey, the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) Welterweight World Champion.
Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs), a three-time, two division world champion, was coming off of a "Knockout of the Year" performance on June 9 over previously unbeaten Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBF title.
"It was a great, fun day," Bailey said. "It was quite an honor from the people of Key West. They acknowledged me as their champion. They've been behind me since I first fought there. It was a great feeling."
"Randall Bailey Day" celebrated the history of boxing in Key West, in general, as well as another pair of popular fighters in Key West, retired world champion Glenn "The Road Warrior" Johnson (unable to attend due to a prior commitment) and Sherman "Tank" Williams, the new World Boxing Organization (WBO) China & Asia Pacific heavyweight champion who is rated No. 12 by the WBO.
Bailey, Johnson and Williams are role models in Key West, where they always attend boxing shows and work with youth at the local Police Athletic League (PAL) facility, in addition to being an invaluable part of the community at large encouraging youngsters to gain respect for discipline and hard work.
Also honored were Bailey's manager, Si Stern, and his partner, Dave Johnson, who are largely responsible for bringing international boxing recognition to Key West. Stern and Johnson have made financial contributions to provide guests with hot dogs and hamburgers, and Coca-Cola and Budweiser donated beverages.
"Randall Bailey Day" festivities included a motorcade escort by two Key West police cars, two motorcycles and two mounted units. A Key West Fire Department pumper truck, 60-passenger Conch Train (donated by Historical Tours of America) for PAL participants and their families, plus additional vehicles for the honorees, were part of the escort. The Key West Rotary Club was a sponsor of this event and the convertible cars used in the motorcade were donated by Niles Automobile.
Local boxers such as Jimmy Bowman, Eddie Agin, Danny Van Staaden and others were also on hand for the celebration.
The festivities culminated at Truman Waterfront, where the honorees were presented with prestigious Honorary Conch status (as citizens of the Florida Keys), as well as an official proclamation that declared Saturday, July 28, 2012, as "Randall Bailey Day."
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?