Randall Bailey Returns June 20 for Final Show Down

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MIAMI (June 11, 2015) – Three-time, two division world champion Randall “KO King” Bailey (44-8, 37 KOs) returns to the ring June 20 after a long absence to fight veteran Gundrick “Sho-Gun” King (18-14, 11 KOs) in the 10-round main event at Riverdale Center of Arts in Riverdale, Georgia.
 
Contrary to some erroneous reports and misconceptions, the 40-year-old Bailey never retired. Unfortunately, he hasn’t fought in 1 ½ years, only four times in nearly five years, due to his well-earned reputation as, pound-for-pound, one of the hardest one-punch boxers in the world.
 
Bailey, fighting out of Miami, last fought November 23, 2013 in Tampa, after a 13-months of inactivity, defeating Ecuador welterweight Humberto “Bam Bam” Toledo (41-11-2, 25 KOs) by way of an eighth-round disqualification. He will be making his junior welterweight debut against King, launching the final chapter of his storied boxing career.
 
“I haven’t been sitting out because I wanted to,” Bailey explained. “We’ve tried to get fights but I’ve been frozen out. It’s been rough but I won’t let it bother me. I just go with the flow, what’s been given to me. I couldn’t get the top junior welterweights to fight me; I’m not afraid to move up to junior middleweight, where I hope to fight ‘Canelo ‘(Saul Alvarez) or (Erislandy) Lara.
 
“I try to explain that I’m not your average 40-year-old boxer. I’m not out every night drinking, getting high, or doing any extra-curricular activities. If these guys really felt I was old, they’d be fighting me. In the Mike Jones fight, they saw a guy losing after 11 rounds but, with a drop of a dime, I let my hands go and ended the show. (Bailey knocked out 26-0 Jones in the 11th round to capture the IBF welterweight title.) They all fade but I don’t.”
 
Bailey has shattered many fighters’ dreams during his 19-year professional career. In addition to Jones, Bailey has defeated a strong group of junior welterweights and welterweights of the past two decades, including Rocky Martinez, Carlos Gonzalez, Hector Lopez, Demetrio Ceballos, Anthony Mora, DeMarcus Corley and Jackson Osei Bonsu. Seven of Bailey’s eight career losses have been to world champions Miguel Cotto, Diosbelys Hurtado, Ener Julio, Ishe Smith, Juan Urango, Corley and Devon Alexander. His only other professional loss was to two-time world title challenger Herman Ngoudjo.
 
Bailey is a promotional free agent. “I’ve come to the point where I’m been having trouble with it,” Bailey’s manager Si Stern spoke about his difficulties landing fights the past few years for a high-risk, dangerous fighter such as Bailey. “If I were a promoter who had a fighter with a great record, why wouldn’t I want to test him against Randall Bailey? I don’t understand these promoters. If Randall knocks his fighter out, they save a lot of time, energy and money. If Randall is beaten, they’ve got a hot fighter who beat a 3-time world champion. That makes all the sense in the world to me. I keep hearing the same excuses from promoters who say television doesn’t want Randall, but that’s BS because fans love watching a KO artist like Randall. And promoters always bring up his age as a safety factor. Most of Randall’s fights didn’t go the distance and he’s never really been on the wrong end of a war. His body hasn’t taken the wear and tear like a lot of other fighters his age. He just went up to Atlanta early to meet with the boxing commission just to show them that he’s in top shape, physically and mentally. We can do that every fight, if needed, without any problems whatsoever.
 
“Let’s face it, promoters and managers are afraid to let their guys fight Randall because they’ll get knocked out. Everybody knows Randall will fight anybody. He made himself available to fight (Floyd) Mayweather and (Manny) Pacquiao, but they didn’t want any part of him. This is what we’ve face with Randall Bailey the past few years.”
 
Bailey has been training for the first time with veteran coach Orlando Cuellar, who is best known for training former world champion Glen Johnson.
 
“Training with Orlando is all about hard work,” Bailey said. “The first week – I can’t really explain how my body felt – but everybody in the gym thought he was killing me. I wasn’t used to working like that but, once I got used to it, I started feeling it.
 
“I know I have power but, after working with Orlando, I realize it’s irrelevant without a good front hand. My jab orchestrates everything. My left look is just as good as my right, if it comes off my jab. Orlando’s helped me bring that back. I’m bringing my power to the 154-pound division and I’m excited about the change.”
 
The feeling is mutual. Cuellar, who also trains 46-year-old heavyweight contender Antonio Tarver, the five-time, two-division world champion, as well as undefeated world light heavyweight contender Yunieski Gonzalez, among the more notables in his growing stable of fighters, believes age is simply a number for elite boxers who dedicate themselves to conditioning.
 
“Randall is still going to have his power and because he’s not depleting himself making 147,” Cuellar noted, “his power will be even greater at 154.. He’ll have gas in his tank late in fights, instead of it being empty from working to make weight like he did at 147. He can run with the big dogs at 154 and still have the most knockout power.
 
“Randall was the most feared 147-pounder in boxing. Hopefully, it won’t be that way at 154, so he can be more active. As a fighter matures in age, sometimes, it’s best to move up in weight instead of using up so much energy to make weight. At 154, Randall will be better because he’ll be more active in the ring. We’re working on stuff other than his big right hand, which we’ll be masking with other punches. We’ve been together six months and he’s looked fantastic. Things are coming along nicely. I have him applying pressure, breaking down his opponent, using three distances – short, medium and long – and then using his signature (right) punch. I don’t want him to rely on knocking out a guy. We have Randall using his speed, movement, power and touching the (his opponent’s) body. He’s bought into my theory and the second coming of Randall Bailey is going to be very exciting.”
 
The final chapter, according to Bailey, will conclude with either his 50th career victory or 10th loss. “It’s all over for me if I win my 50th fight or lose my 10th,” he concluded. “I’m not going to be anybody’s opponent and, if I get to 50 wins, it’ll be all over for me.”
 
Bailey’s journey for his third divisional world title officially kicks-off June 20.
 
Follow him on Twitter @KOKING_Bailey.
 

Randall Bailey On Quest for One Last Title Run. Faces Undefeated Frederick Lawson June 7

MIAMI (April 29, 2014) – Three-time, two-division world champion Randall “KO King” Bailey (44-8, 37 KOs) continues his final title run June 7, as he takes on undefeated Ghanaian welterweight Frederick Lawson (22-0, 20 KOs) in the 12-round main event for the vacant United States Boxing Association (USBA) title, at Myth Event Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 
Bailey, fighting out of Miami, is coming off a win by way of an eighth-round disqualification of  Humberto “Bam Bam” Toledo (41-11-2, 25 KOs) last November in Tampa.  The 39-year-old Bailey, still one of the most feared punchers in boxing, is the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title holder, as well as the former IBF and World Boxing Organization (WBO) light welterweight champion of the world.
 
“I’m happy to have this fight,” Bailey said.  “I’m looking forward to fighting in Minnesota again.  I fought there in 1998 (WTKO3 vs. Rodney Wilson in Minneapolis). Now, each fight is my most important for me, and it’s also very important for me to look good winning.  This is my last real run and it would be great to get another world title shot.  I still feel young.  I’ve never had any real injuries or damage to my body.  And power never goes away!
 
“I’ll have Chico Rivas as my head trainer for the second fight in row.  We’ve worked together since 2005.  He’s my go-to guy; a safety first type of trainer to make sure his fighters are okay, but when it’s time to attack, he lets me go.  He’s all about basics, no magic tricks.  We get along very well.”
 
IBF No. 14-rated Lawson, fighting out of Chicago, is the IBF International 147-pound champion.  His last fight was a sixth-round technical knockout victory this past March over Mohammed Kayongo (17-3-1) at The Myth.
 
“I don’t know too much about him (Lawson) yet other than he is undefeated and was Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner.  I’m ready for a good fight.  I want to build myself back up in the eyes of the public after my fight with Devin (Alexander – LDEC12).  His style didn’t match with mine.  I know I came to fight but all he did was tap and run. He should have told me that before we signed to fight instead of him saying he was going to break my ribs and knock me out. His punched like he was scratching. I’m disgusted with that fight.  All I felt was his little taps.  I’m still frustrated.  Being a veteran I should have come in and did everything possible to win. I like to fight; if I lose, I’d rather get my ass beaten instead of losing that way with him tapping and running.”
 
Lawson figures to stand and fight having stopped 20 of his 22 opponents to date, although none have been in the same class as Bailey.
 
Bailey’s veteran manager, Si Stern, believes his fighter has one legitimate run still in him.  “A good win will put Randall back in the mix for another world title fight,” Stern commented.  “This is a great opportunity for Randall.  His mind set is good and nobody, pound-for-pound, hits harder than him.  If Randall hits this guy clean, the fight is over.  His opponent has never fought anybody like Randall.”
 
During the course of his 18-year professional boxing career, Bailey has defeated, among the more notables, Rocky Martinez, Hector Lopez, Carlos Gonzalez, Mike Jones, Jackson Osei Bonsu, Francisco Figueroa, DeMarcus Corley, Anthony Mora, Harrison Cuello, Juan Polo Perez, and Demetrio Ceballos. Seven of Bailey’s eight losses have been to world champions Miguel Cotto, Alexander, Juan Urango, Corley, Diosbelys Hurtado, Ener Julio, and Ishe Smith, the other setback to two-time world title challenger Herman Ngoudjo.

Forgotten Legends: Diosbelys Hurtado

Diosbelys Hurtado

By: Steve Gallegos

The Cuban amateur boxing system is one of the best in boxing. The Cubans have dominated amateur boxing for decades and have produced some of the best defensive technicians. Due to communist rule, professional boxing has been banned in Cuba; therefore many great Cuban boxers have had to make the difficult decision to defect to the United States in order to fight professionally.

In the late 1990’s a 10 man team of Cuban fighters was formed in Miami, Fl and they called themselves “Team Freedom”. The most popular and successful fighter of “Team Freedom” was Joel Casamayor; however there was another standout of the team that many have forgotten about. That fighter was former Jr. Welterweight champion Diosbelys Hurtado.

Hurtado was a tall, slick boxer with great speed, skill and technique. Hurtado was born and raised in Santiago, Cuba and was a member of the Cuban national team in which he had an outstanding amateur record of 221-20. He longed for a better life and a career as a professional fighter; therefore he made the difficult decision to defect to the United States, leaving behind his family. He settled in Miami, FL and turned pro in December of 1994. He would win his first 20 fights, 12 by knockout before getting his first shot at a world title against the legendary four-time world champion, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker.

They met on 01/24/97 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ for Whitaker’s WBC Welterweight title. Whitaker had a major showdown scheduled for 04/12/97 against Oscar De La Hoya, which was the biggest fight in the Welterweight division in 16 years and he had to get past Hurtado in order to make that fight happen. Hurtado came out in the first round and surprised Whitaker by landing a straight right that put “Sweet Pea” down. It was a huge confidence booster for Hurtado and he began to dictate the pace of the fight with lateral movement and quick in-and-out combinations. Hurtado would drop Whitaker again in the fifth round with a quick flurry of punches.

The fight would turn into a rough, foul fest in which low blows and rabbit punches were being landed. Whitaker’s huge payday with De La Hoya was slipping away and the “Golden Boy” who was sitting at ringside was starting to get very nervous. Whitaker had not had a knockout past the sixth round, but in the 11th he landed a huge left hand that sent Hurtado reeling against the ropes. Whitaker went in for the kill landing one left hand after another and after nine unanswered left hands, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. finally stopped the bout with Hurtado halfway through the ropes.

At the time of the stoppage, Hurtado was ahead on all three judges scorecards. He was less than five minutes away from changing boxing history. The devastating knockout Hurtado suffered would have broken many fighters; however not this fighter. He hired hall of fame trainer Lou Duva and was back in the ring five months later and would win his next eight fights, six by KO before getting another crack at a world title against future hall of famer Kostya Tszyu.

They met on 11/28/98 at the outdoor arena at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight Championship. Tszyu was scheduled to meet Miguel Angel Gonzalez of Mexico; however Gonzalez pulled out of the bout due to an injury; therefore Hurtado took the fight on 10 days notice after fighting just 15 days earlier. In the first round, Tszyu dropped Hurtado with a three punch combination against the ropes. Hurtado looked hurt and possibly ready to go; however he caught Tszyu coming in with a right hand and put Tszyu on the canvas. He would put Tzsyu down again in the first round while causing Tzyu’s right eye to swell badly.

The fight would be all action in which shots were being landed back and forth. Hurtado was able to counter Tzsyu’s hard shots very well as Kostya was leaving himself wide open; however Hurtado had a bad habit of keeping his back against the ropes, which left him an open target for hard shots. Tszyu continued to press forward, fighting like the great champion that he was and began to focus on Hurtado’s body.

In the fifth round, Tzsyu caught Hurtado on the ropes and dropped him twice with hard body punching; causing the referee to stop the bout. Hurtado would shake off the knockout loss and would win his next six bouts from 1999-2002, while winning the lightly regarded IBA Jr. Welterweight title. He would get a third shot at a world title as he faced the very tough, hard-hitting Randall Bailey.

They met on 05/11/02 in San Juan, Puerto Rico for Bailey’s WBA Jr. Welterweight title. Hurtado was able to withstand Bailey’s hard power shots which had “knockout” written all over them. In the second round, Hurtado dropped Bailey coming in with a straight right hand counter. Bailey would respond with a hard right hand in the sixth that put Hurtado down. Before the start of the seventh round, Hurtado’s corner told him that he had to go out and fight Bailey and he did just that by going for the gusto and putting Bailey down for good with a barrage of body punches. Finally, Diosbelys Hurtado was a world champion; however the glory would be short lived as Vivian Harris blasted Hurtado in two rounds in his first title defense seven months later.

He would fight three times in 2003-2004, winning all three bouts before retiring. He would make a comeback in 2007 and would go 5-0 before retiring again for good in 2011. His record as a professional stands at 43-3-1 with 26 KO’s. A true professional who always came into the ring in shape and ready to fight. He has helped pave the way for the new generation of great Cuban fighters like Erislandy Lara and Guillermo Rigondeaux, who like Hurtado have realized the dream of becoming world champion by sacrificing and truly dedicating themselves to the sport of boxing.

Diosbelys Hurtado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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