Will Devon Alexander become a two-division champion tomorrow night, or will Randall Bailey pick up another upset win in 2012 and defend his IBF welterweight title? The BLH staff pick the winner.
It goes without saying that either fighter can defeat the other by knockout. Bailey is definitely the bigger puncher (with 1 hand) but he's also easier to hit and more fragile himself. Bailey and Alexander share a few opponents in common, most relevantly Juan Urango. Urango knocked Bailey out while Alexander knocked out Urango. Prior to stopping Bailey, Urango had to get off the floor himself in round 6. Alexander had a similar experience against Lucas Martin Matthysse when he got off the canvas in round 4 to win (although controversially). Granted Bailey has gotten off the canvas to win in the past as well, it's been mostly due to flash knockdowns. If Alexander really hurts him, I think he's done for. I don't think it will be the same the other way around. Alexander has a lot more tools in his game, is younger, and is more resilient. Bailey doesn't just have to land big; he has to follow up. And since Bailey doesn't really have a jab and Alexander knows enough survival tricks, I just don't see the follow up happening. Alexander TKO-10.
I want Bailey to win. I like the guy and how passionate he is about things, watching him cry after winning the belt against Mike Jones was a cool moment. And I have a soft spot for guys who are just huge single power shot KO artists. But Alexander has been in with big bombers before and emerged okay. And once you get to "he can probably avoid getting knocked out" then you have to give the edge pretty much everywhere else to Alexander. So, I'll take Alexander by wide decision.
There is a big part of me that wants to pick Randall Bailey. I like guys who have one trick and perfect it. At this point, Bailey isn't afraid to put on a terrible fight if it means winning. His June 9 win over Mike Jones is remembered pretty well because of the fact that he exploded Jones' face in the end and won by devastating TKO, but apart from the finish, it was one of the worst televised fights of this year. It wasn't all Bailey, who will wait patiently for his one opening, knowing he can take advantage of just one; it was also Jones, who fought terrified of Bailey's power. If Alexander does the same, Alexander's going to get caught. But the smart money is on Devon here. If he doesn't fight petrified (and I've no reason to think he will, really), then he's just a better overall fighter, and he looked really strong at 147 against Marcos Maidana. I think there's a decent chance Devon stops Bailey after dominating the fight for a while. Alexander TKO-10.
In theory, this one boils down to two simple choices, right? The term ‘puncher's chance' almost doesn't apply to Randall Bailey, since that's the same get-out you'd give to any fighter, in any kind of contest.
Bailey hits like a mule. If he connects, Alexander will go. I won't be the first, or last, to say this will either be an Alexander-led clinic, boxing sensibly, cautiously, shell-like from distance, or a spectacular, tree-felling, upset from the one of the sport's pure bangers. The likely shame here is that Alexander looked very good indeed against (an albeit poor) Maidana, and I think he could actually open up Bailey at will if he wanted to. I just don't think he'll take that chance. Alexander UD, but with the usual Bailey asterisk.
If you're looking for a moron who actually thought Devon Alexander won his controversial fights over Andriy Kotelnik and Lucas Matthysse, look no further. I guess I gave Alexander just enough benefit of the doubt that I indeed had him beating Matthysse by the skin of his teeth, 95-94, and also believed he had banked enough early rounds against Kotelnik to justifiably eke that one out too. While I am more inclined to join the mass defecation on his no-show against Tim Bradley last year, I'm fairly certain of one thing: Randall Bailey is no Tim Bradley.
Bailey has a soft spot in all boxing fans' hearts, an aging underdog with a detonation device in his right hand. When he uncorked said weapon of mass destruction on Mike Jones earlier this year, it was one of the most dramatic and satisfying moments of the year. Unfortunately, most of us had already been rendered unconscious ourselves from the agonizingly boring ten rounds that preceded it. Bailey waits and waits and waits, looking for that one opportunity to drop a bomb. On Saturday night, the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. Alexander will yip and bark his way to an excruciating and wide unanimous decision.
I think it's easy to think little of Devon Alexander after some tough decision "wins" and his performance against Tim Bradley, but Alexander remains a world class talent who fights good competition at all times. The story to this fight is simple, either Bailey wins by stoppage or Alexander wins a wide decision. I'm guessing the latter, as Alexander has shown previously against slugger Marcos Maidana, who had more boxing skills than Bailey, that he can outbox punchers. Alexander UD-12.
This may be the bout I am looking forward to the most even though it could turn out to be the least entertaining of the group. I want to Alexander beaten cleanly, no I need to see Alexander beaten cleanly, And he's not even that bad of a guy, but he has gotten some gifts and I felt that he essentially quit against Tim Bradley. This all being said, I still think he will win. Bailey has maybe the single hardest punch in the sport, but he is rather one-dimensional. I think we are going to see a lot of running, holding, and jabbing from Alexander to blunt Bailey's offense. Picking with my head, not my heart, I will take Alexander on points in a snoozer.
You've got to love Bailey, he's been boxing for over 15 years yet he's still as dangerous now as he was in his prime. He might not be as quick as he was, or as fit, but he's still got a punch that could knock out a shire horse. Alexander should be too slick for Bailey, he can't get complacent for a second, though. If Alexander is at the top of his game then there's only winner, probably via a wide points decison. Alexander by decision.
Final Tally: Devon Alexander 8, Randall Bailey 0.