IBF welterweight titleholder Randall “K.O. King” Bailey will be defending his title for the first time this Saturday, Oct. 20, when he takes on former two-time junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander “The Great”.
The Bailey vs. Alexander matchup will take place on the Showtime broadcast card at the newly opened Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The card is stacked from top to bottom and will feature four championship fights.
Baily and Alexander were originally scheduled to meet on Sept. 8, but the fight was postponed when Baily suffered an injury while preparing for the fight.
Alexander’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham, has been extremely vocal leading up to the fight and has even questioned whether or not Bailey was truly injured.
“I am tired of speaking on Kevin,” a seemingly annoyed Bailey said. “We [are] fighting Saturday night, so whether it (the fight) happened on the 8th or not, it’s happening on the 20th.”
Bailey’s game plan for the fight seems to be a simple one that centers on him landing his big right hand that has made him one of the most feared punchers in the sport.
“My game plan is that I am coming and I am coming forward, and what he wants to do after that is his business because I am coming straight forward and I am landing,” Bailey said.
In his win over Mike Jones, for the vacant IBF title, Bailey had been widely criticized for his lack of punch output.
“It wasn’t the fact that I was hesitant to let them (his hands) go, the guy wasn’t there,” Bailey said. “He was way bigger then me and I said in every interview before the Mike Jones fight I would knock him, and did I knock him out?”
Bailey certainly did knock Jones out, and in devastating fashion in a fight he had lost virtually every round in outside of round 10 in which he scored a knockdown.
It’s not about how many punches you land in boxing; it’s about how effective the punches are, according to Bailey.
“I don’t care if it took one punch, two punches, three punches, the punch count said what it said, but I ended the fight with a knockout, done deal,” Bailey said.
In Alexander, Bailey will be fighting a welterweight much closer to his size and nowhere near as big as Jones, who looks like a middleweight in the ring. The game plan for Alexander seems to be the same though, knock him out.
“I know what I need to do to win this fight and I know I need to end it with a knockout. I have trained and prepared for that. So if I don’t get that, most likely I’m not winning,” Bailey said.
“My mind set going in is I have to knock this guy out, and I know what I need to do: knock him out.”
Bailey feels that if the fight doesn’t go exactly as planned for Alexander, he and his trainer Cunningham will not be able to make the necessary adjustments on fight night.
According to Bailey, Cunningham’s inability to make the proper in-fight corrections is what cost Alexander the fight in his loss to Tim Bradley and not the clash of heads that ultimately ended the fight. After the head-butt Alexander seemingly gave up and the fight was sent to the scorecards.
“I think Kevin quit, I don’t think Devon quit because Kevin was doing more complaining than Devon,” Bailey said.
“When he didn’t have an answer for what Tim Bradley was doing, he jumped up on the ropes. He had a little cut, it wasn’t even bleeding that d*** much and he stopped the fight.”
Leading up to this fight Cunningham seems to be doing most of the talking for his fighter, but Bailey believes the trainer should save some of those words for the fight itself.
“He has to talk to Devon in the corner. All that s**t he’s telling Devon, like he know what the f**k I’m going to do when the fight happen and that s**t ain’t happen and Devon not seeing the s**t that he said he was going to see, he’s going to have to deal with that,” Bailey said.
“He going to have to have all the answers for Devon in the corner on 20th, because I know exactly what I am coming to do.”
Michael Walters is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.