Thursday, September 20, 2012

Randall Bailey to defend title

By Dan Rafael |
Randall Bailey's welterweight title defense against former junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander was rescheduled Wednesday for Oct. 20 at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Golden Boy Promotions announced.

Bailey, who came from behind to drop Mike Jones in the 10th round and then knock him out in the 11th on June 9 on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. pay-per-view undercard, was supposed to make his first defense against Alexander in the main event of a Showtime card on Sept. 8 in Las Vegas.

However, a week before the fight, Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs), 37, of Miami, suffered a back injury in training, and the bout was postponed.

 "I am so happy to be able to get back in the gym and continue to train," said Bailey, one of boxing's best pure punchers. "At my age, you can't take anything for granted and injuries are harder to overcome, but I am totally healed and ready to shock the world again by beating another young fighter like Devon Alexander. I said I would knock Devon Alexander out before and I am going to say it again. It's going to be a great fight."

Added Lou DiBella, Bailey's promoter: "Randall is the hardest puncher in boxing and he is a true champion. If Devon Alexander wants his belt, he is going to have to take it and withstand the hardest right hand in the sport."

Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs), 25, of St. Louis, moved up to welterweight in February and outpointed former junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana in easy fashion. This will be Alexander's second fight at 147 pounds.

"The opportunity to be a part of this piece of boxing history means a lot to me," Alexander said of fighting on the debut card at the arena. "Randall Bailey and I have some unfinished business, and I plan on starting the night off right for all of the fans watching at the new Barclays Center and at home on Showtime. I am going to walk away as the IBF welterweight world champion on Oct. 20."

Added Kevin Cunningham, Alexander's trainer and manager: "We are very excited to get the opportunity to win a world title on such a historic night of boxing. Brooklyn has great boxing fans, and Devon's going to put on a show for them."

By adding Bailey-Alexander to the first boxing card at the Barclays Center, the new home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, there will be four world title bouts on the card. There hasn't been even one world title fight in Brooklyn since Aug. 5,1931, when Maxie Rosenbloom outpointed Jimmy Slattery in a 15-round bout at Ebbets Field to retain the light heavyweight championship.

"We are thrilled to not only be re-announcing this hard-hitting matchup, but also to be able to add it to the already powerful night of boxing planned for Barclays Center on Oct. 20," Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said. "With four world championship fights and a great undercard to kick off a new era of boxing in Brooklyn, this show is going to be like the Super Bowl of boxing and definitely will be a night to remember."

Headlining the card will be unified junior welterweight titlist Danny Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) of Philadelphia in a rematch with Mexican star and former four-division titlist Erik Morales (52-8, 36 KOs), whom Garcia knocked down in the 11th round and outpointed March 24 to win a vacant belt. Morales had been stripped of the 140-pound title the day before for failing to make weight.

Also on the Showtime-televised card:

•  Brooklyn's Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs), who has not fought at home since his professional debut in 2001, will make the first defense of his welterweight title against Mexico's Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs), who gave up an interim junior welterweight belt to move up in weight for the opportunity.

•  Middleweight contender "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin (27-0, 20 KOs), who lives in Manhattan but spent many years in Brooklyn, will challenge titleholder Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (27-0, 17 KOs) of France.

"I really didn't think the Barclays Center event could get any bigger, but that is exactly what has happened," said Stephen Espinoza, a general manager of Showtime Sports. "It's been our strategy at Showtime to increase the quality and the quantity of our boxing coverage. For this network to televise four title fights on one night, not on pay-per-view, demonstrates the commitment we've made to our subscribers and to boxing fans. Thanks to the promoters and to Devon and Randall for bringing this fourth fight to the table. What a special night this will be for these talented fighters, for Brooklyn and for the sport of boxing."

The undercard is loaded with several Brooklyn fighters, including middleweight and former prospect of the year Daniel Jacobs, former welterweight titlist Luis Collazo and former junior welterweight title challenger Dmitriy Salita, along with Bronx junior middleweight prospect Eddie Gomez.

The card is the first under the previously announced deal between Barclays Center and Golden Boy Promotions to promote monthly cards at the new arena.


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