On The Beak – Admin
Randall Bailey has a chilling message for IBF welterweight world title challenger Devon Alexander: “Even at my worst, I have dropped every southpaw that I’ve fought. Eventually, I’m going to catch up to Devon. And when I do, it’s going to be trouble for him.” The two lock horns in Bailey’s first defence of the belt at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas on September 8.
Full story: The Ring.
A trans-Atlantic battle of heavyweight prospects could be on the cards as the team behind British-Irish phenom Tyson Fury have responded to power-punching American Deontay Wilder’s call-out. Peter Fury, Tyson’s trainer, indicated a March 17 date at Madison Square Garden in New York City could be on the cards should Wilder’s people contact Fury’s promoter.
Full story: Twitter
TMT Promotions, headed by promoter 50 Cent, are set to showcase their debut boxing event on November 17. The card will be a double-header featuring two fighters from The Money Team’s stable. Yuriorkis Gamboa is slated to box Juan Carlos Salgado while Andre Dirrell is matched with Brian Magee.
Full story: Fight Hype
IBF super middleweight belt holder Carl Froch was due to announce the opponent chosen for his first defence of his title today, Monday, but the decision has been postponed until August 28. The date and venue are certain, though, as November 17 and the Capital FM Arena have been chosen.
Full story: World Boxing News
Johnny Nelson introduces the new boxing season in Britain by naming his three “ones to watch” that include Kell Brook, Tony Bellew and Carl Frampton.
Full story: Sky Sports
Rising heavyweight star Seth Mitchell, a former linebacker at Michigan State University, has proclaimed the football field to be more dangerous than inside the squared circle! “I’ve seen more vicious knockouts and concussions [there] than in boxing”.
Full story: Boxing Talk
Fan-friendly flyweight gold medalist Nicola Adams has insisted her wave of good press will not change her and, despite finishing atop of her division in the Olympics a fortnight ago, will resume training and return to the gym in September in order to prepare for the European Championships next year.
Full story: Sporting Life
Reigning WBC super bantamweight king Toshiaki Nishiokia has revealed that he performs better when faced with the greatest of challenges. A statement that perhaps indicates why he was keen to attempt to unify his green belt with Nonito Donaire’s WBO and IBF belts, Nishioka added he will be “fired up most” for the Filipino Flash.
Full story: Japan Times
One last thing…
Giorbis Barthelemy’s nosferatu impression has landed him a decade-long suspension that will likely mean that the 40-year-old southpaw’s prizefighting career has come to a close. Barthelemy was ahead on the scorecards when he bit the neck of Grady Brewer in the fifth round of their Cobb Callergia Centre duel. The Floridian was also charged $10,000 by the Georgia State Athletic Commission.
Full story: World Boxing News
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Randall Bailey went from journeyman to champion on Saturday, June 9 as, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, he came from behind on the scorecards to score two stunning knockdowns at the expense of Mike Jones. Welterweight contender Jones had been boxing tentatively for the majority of the fight but accumulated the superior scores in most rounds, yet Bailey’s brutal power – when it was finally unleashed – changed the landscape of the contest.
Official verdict: Bailey by way of 11th round TKO.
“Nobody knows what it takes for me to prepare and do what I do,” a sobbing, yet triumphant, Bailey – with the IBF welterweight championship belt proudly tied around his waist – told HBO after his victory. He added: “Mike Jones is tough, take nothing away from him. I love my team. It’s [the power] my God’s gift, my mom’s a fighter, so this came naturally. [When the second knockdown happened I thought] stay down, Mike, please! He’s a big dude, man!”
Bailey’s Hollywood finish transpired after what had been bland viewing beforehand as Jones boxed with caution in the opening rounds, relinquishing the centre of the ring to opponent Bailey (43-7-0, 37ko) who was the clear aggressor at the start of combat. Known for his penchant of throwing punches in bunches, Jones’ output on fight night was in stark contrast to his reputation and this was not lost on the crowd who booed his approach within four minutes of boxing.
Jones was finally more active in round three, however, any positivity to his approach was offset by a clinch-and-grab method that followed any punches that landed. Such a tactic, against a boxer famed for his punch power, was perhaps evidence he was paying too much respect to his opponent’s best asset – the right hand. Both fighters, though, were responsible for what was a largely uninteresting fight as neither man was landing enough to do any damage (aside from a mark to Bailey’s eye).
In the middle rounds, Bailey’s one-dimensional boxing and the over-reliance on the right hand were two weaknesses that Jones failed to capitalise on as the undefeated Philadelphian showed a clear lack of aggression, neglected the jab but – crucially when it came to scoring – was doing just that little bit more than Bailey by landing a little more often.
Some excitement finally arrived in the ninth round when Jones attacked each side of the body in equal measure prior to planting one on the face, however, he did not follow up on that success, took a step back and ended up getting jabbed in the mouth by Bailey. A similar situation occurred in the tenth round as Jones again showed a five second period of pressure but couldn’t cope with Randall’s retaliation as Bailey canvassed him with a straight right.
It says much of both Bailey’s power and his limitations that his only meaningful contributions to 11 rounds of action were the two punches he landed in rounds ten and 11. In the penultimate round, he launched an uppercut underneath a Jones jab. It caught Jones off-guard, cracked his nose, turned his lights off and put him flat on his back with his eye-lids shut. For most fighters that would be goodnight, but Jones showed fair recovery as he opened his eyes and attempted to get to his fight on the count of four but his legs failed him completely and he was counted out.
“I’m a tough man, I’ll be back,” Jones (26-1-0, 19ko) said defiantly in defeat. “I got caught with a clean shot, he was the better man tonight… I’ll be back. I got careless in the later rounds, but I have no excuses. He won.”
Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photos: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
The four televised pay-per-view fighters competing at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 9 all weighed-in yesterday but despite the appearances of Jesus Rojas, Jorge Arce, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Teon Kennedy, Mike Jones, Randall Bailey and Timothy Bradley, it was Manny Pacquiao who attracted raucous rock-star applause. Additionally, the Filipino was not fazed over the intimidation tactics employed by his challenger…
Out of the quartet of contests broadcast by HBO and it’s international brethren, only Jorge Arce’s ten round duel with Jesus Rojas (18-1-1, 13ko) is non-title. Arce, though, if successful, could land himself a prized shot at fast-rising Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire who has his own bout with Jeffrey Mathebula on July 7; a fight that will unify the WBO and IBF world titles.
Both Arce (60-6-2, 46ko) and Rojas were the only two fighters who failed to make weight as they came in 1.5lbs over the super bantamweight limit of 122lbs, however, the dust-up will go forth, leading one to presume this may have been contractually agreement.
In a bout that will have the vacant IBF welterweight world title belt on the line, Jones – a rangy 29-year-old from the historical boxing hotbed of Philadelphia – clashes with big-punching Bailey (42-7-0, 36ko). What could be more significant for Jones (26-0-0, 19ko), though, is that a strong performance could see him aligned with the winner of the Pacquiao and Bradley fight.
Contender Kennedy (17-1-2, 9ko) takes on Rigondeaux (9-0-0, 7ko) for the latter’s WBA super bantamweight world championship. While, on paper, it seems Rigo is the inexperienced of the two, the champion has huge amateur experience (over 400 fights) and is regarded to be one of the most aesthetically-pleasing boxers of the lighter weight classes.
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) and Bradley (28-0-0, 12ko) duke it out in the main event but Bradley believes Manny is not focussed, believes he’ll be the second fighter to defeat him on US terrain and even stared Pacquiao down at the weigh-in.
Photo: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
Vaughn Jackson, who has been training undefeated welterweight Mike Jones (26-0-0, 19ko) since Jones turned professional in 2005, has a quiet, yet bold confidence as his fighter is less than a week from boxing Randall Bailey (42-7-0, 36ko) for the vacant IBF welterweight world title on Saturday, June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley championship card.
“He’s well-prepared,” Jackson said of Jones, 29, the number one rated IBF welterweight contender. “Mike is going to bring out the best in himself.”
Jackson is well aware of Bailey’s reputation as one of boxing’s strongest punchers, but feels that won’t be enough against Jones, a knockout threat himself with a 73 percent knockout percentage to Bailey’s 72: “I’ve been watching Randall Bailey for quite a while now,” Jackson began. “He still has a lot of power, but I’m not expecting any changes since he’s an older guy stuck in his old ways. Whatever he brings, we’ll be ready for it.
“People talk and say what they’re going to do, but when Bailey gets in the ring and feels how strong Mike is, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble and have his hands full. He’ll realize then he’s in with a full-blown 147-pound man. Mike is big. If Bailey thinks he can bully Mike, that’s not going to happen.”
Jackson, 42, one of the best of the new breed of trainers, feels that Jones has a big advantage in overall boxing skills, speed and movement, which will allow the younger Jones, to dictate the pace of the fight: “Randall Bailey won’t be able to stand back and dictate the pace.
“Mike, with his all-around boxing talent, will dictate the pace. Bailey will have to move around more than he’s accustomed to, which he’s never been known to do and at his age  that will be even more difficult for him now. I think Bailey is going to step straight to Mike and try to hit the lottery. That’s the only chance he has, but Bailey’s chin is suspect, and Mike can crack, too.”
Jackson is excited about Jones’ first world title opportunity, but he’s treating it like all of their previous 26 winning efforts. Jackson is certain that Jones will shine: “Although this is a title fight, this is just another fight for us. Bailey is just a stepping-stone for Mike to becoming the undefeated welterweight champion of the world, the new IBF champion.
“Mike’s going to shine like a 2,000-watt light bulb.”
On The Beak – Admin
With only a couple of weeks before his first world-title opportunity, undefeated welterweight Mike Jones, of Philadelphia, has the look and mindset of a champion as he prepares to meet the hard-hitting former champion Randall Bailey, of Miami, in one of the co-feature fights on the Manny Pacquiao versus Timothy Bradley card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 9.
“It is a lifelong dream to fight for the title,” said Jones, the IBF number one rated welterweight. “All I know is I’m 100 percent confident in myself and my abilities. I come to win and I will not lose.”
Jones’ confident demeanor extends to his attitude about expectations as well: “I never get too high or too low, I never need acceptance from anybody, whether I score a knockout or get a decision win. I stay true to myself. I believe in God and I believe in myself. That’s what matters to me.”
But will Jones’ confidence and attitude be enough to stop Bailey, who is well-known for his punching power? Bailey has scored 36 knockouts en route to a 42-7 record as a pro.
“He’s a banger, definitely likes to bang, but I can do more than just slug,” said Jones, who is co-promoted by Top Rank, Inc, and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win, even if I have to pound him out, but I want to be moving to set everything up. I don’t know if he can take my power. My plan is not to give him anything and not to give him any advantage.”
Jones, along with his trainer Vaughn Jackson, came up with successful game plans for the other recent sluggers Jones has faced, which helped him score two wins over Jesus Soto-Karass in 2010 and 2011, and over Sebastian Lujan in his most recent fight on December 3. They are, likewise, coming up with a plan for Bailey.
“It’s like game-planning for a tough defense in basketball,” Jones said. “You have to take Bailey’s best attribute – his banging – away from him. Once you do that, things become a lot easier. He’s a strong guy. He hits hard with that right hand and that left hook is not too weak, either. I’m looking for the best Randall Bailey and I want him to bring his best because I know that will bring out the best in me.”
Jones wants to make a strong statement with his performance on June 9, and although he rarely makes a prediction on his fights, he nonetheless is confident on what he’s going to do: “Making a statement in this fight is showing my best, winning the fight and looking fantastic.
“The plan always is for me to show the world something better each and every time out. I don’t have a prediction, but I’m just going to beat him down.”
On The Beak – Admin
Former 140-pound contender Francisco ‘El Gato’ Figueroa (20-3-1, 13ko) is eager to the return to the ring after a two-year hiatus. The former NABF light welterweight title holder – a recent sparring partner of British super lightweight champion Ashley Theophane – has not fought since battling to a draw with Rashad Holloway in late 2009 but is chomping at the bit to swap leather with anyone at 140-145 pounds.
“I‘ve been looking for a fight for over three months now, so I’m ready to get back in there,” said Figueroa. “I’m on weight and in fight mode.”
Figueroa, best known for his slick southpaw style, was on the brink of a world title shot in April of 2009 when he met the hard-punching Randall Bailey in an IBF eliminator. After three-and-a-half close rounds, Bailey caught Figueroa with a sharp right hand, kayoing the New York native for the first time in his career.
But Figueroa, who runs “12 Rounds of Fitness,” his own personal training service, is in incredible shape for his return and is confident a second crack at the big stage will turn out differently.
“To beat anything in life, you need to technically break it down with science,” said Figueroa, whose fitness regime includes hour-long runs and countless ab rollers. “And when you break things down, you have to do it all the way down to the molecule and atom.”
Figueroa, a promotional and managerial free agent, says he’s willing to travel to his opponent’s backyards to secure big fights. He is confident that 2012 will be his biggest year to date.
“Game time is over. I’m ready to get my limelight back.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Andre Berto defended his standing in the landscape of modern boxing when a reporter asked the Floridian fighter for his comments on how he is in danger of becoming one of the sport’s forgotten men following a highly-competitive and thoroughly-entertaining 2011 classic bout with Victor Ortiz, a contest he lost, earlier this year. Berto addressed the media at a conference aimed to drum up interest in his September 3 world title challenge against Jan Zaveck.
“Is that what it is?” Berto said in rhetoric fashion as he snapped back at a journalist during a press conference today, Thursday. “You lose one fight you’re forgotten about? Fighters have shown for years and years they lose one fight then come back a whole lot bigger than they were before.”
A former holder of the WBC welterweight world championship, Berto defended the title five times before dropping a decision loss to Ortiz in a fight of the year nominee. Not only did Ortiz lose his title, but also his status as an undefeated professional.
However, he has since been thrust back into world title contention as he challenges European fighter Jan Zaveck for the IBF version of the 147lb world title in a fight dubbed Battle in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Mississippi.
“Saying that kind of thing blows my mind about you reporters or just the sport in general sometimes,” continued the 27-year-old.
“You have a kid who has a lot of hype and goes undefeated, he loses one fight, one close fight, and you act like you’re automatically gonna write him off, off one fight?
“You’ve seen a guy like Shane Mosley resurrect his career three or four times,” noted Berto (27-1-0, 21ko). “A guy like Bernard Hopkins and all these other guys and they have four, five or six losses. I’m still young,” he said. “I went through a tough defeat, I had a bad night and you feel that’s what it comes down down to?
“I don’t care about what people think or what they’re gonna write, at this point I’m just doing this for me, my family and the real Berto fans out there!”
Lou DiBella, who represents Berto and is co-promoting the world championship event, questioned the validity of the notion that his charge is “forgotten” when he fighting for a major world title in less than ten days time.
Zaveck (31-1-0, 18ko), a Slovenian prizefighter who will make his debut on American canvas on September 3, was patiently waiting for his chance to take to the microphone. He said: “I’m unknown here, of course, but after the fight you will all write about me.”
A press release was circulated earlier indicating that Aaron Pryor Jr and Thomas Oosthuizen would act as the chief supporting fight for the Zaveck and Berto headliner. Pryor Jr would challenge for Oosthuizen’s IBO super middleweight world title. Undefeated featherweight Gary Russel Jr faces an opponent yet to be determined while experienced welterweight Randall Bailey fights Yoryi Estrella elsewhere on the undercard.