Randall Bailey will make his first IBF welterweight title defense on September 8 in Memphis. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
IBF welterweight titlist Randall Bailey made clear that he wouldn't fight Devon Alexander in his challenger's hometown of St. Louis, and now Ring Magazine reports that the September 8 Showtime main event will take place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.
The televised co-feature will be a 140-pound fight between Lucas Matthysse and Ajose Olusegun.
Bailey (43-7, 37 KO) won the title by upsetting Mike Jones on the Pacquiao vs Bradley undercard, turning a mind-numbingly dull fight around on a dime by knocking Jones out in the 11th round on one of his signature right hand bombs. Alexander (23-1, 13 KO) made his welterweight debut on February 18, routing Marcos Maidana.
It's a fight where Alexander will probably be the betting favorite going in, and should be easily able to outbox Bailey, who is one-dimensional to say the least. But Bailey's one dimension -- skull-crushing power -- is a big one. If he lands one of his big right hands, he can knock out anyone. And that definitely includes Devon Alexander.
The co-feature bout is very intriguing, as Olusegun (30-0, 14 KO) has finally given up the ghost on getting that WBC title shot he earned last September with a win over Ali Chebah, which became increasingly unlikely as soon as Danny Garcia became a truly legit player with a win over Amir Khan two weeks ago.
Matthysse (31-2, 29 KO) last fought on June 23, stopping Humberto Soto in Los Angeles in a terrific fight, which saw both men go to war. Matthysse was simply too strong for the Mexican veteran, and ended the fight in the fifth round. Both are good fights, really, and Showtime has a nice double-header here. Unfortunately, they'll also be going head-to-head with Ward vs Dawson on HBO, which also has an exciting co-feature, as Antonio DeMarco will defend his lightweight belt against John Molina.