Mike Jones/Randall Bailey Preview

By Teron Briggs on June 8, 2012
Mike Jones/Randall Bailey Preview
Jones or Bailey will be crowned the new IBF welterweight champion (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

The most intriguing matchup on Saturday’s Pacquiao vs. Bradley undercard showcases Philadelphia’s own Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KOs) attempting to capture his first world title against two-time former champion Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs).

Mike Jones’ talent is so prodigious that trainer Vaughn Jackson said Floyd Mayweather Sr. once told him that his pupil was the “hardest-hitting welterweight he had ever worked the mitts with” and that he “hits harder than Thomas Hearns.” At 29 and with 26 professional fights under his belt, the once promising six-foot welterweight’s window for stardom is rapidly closing. Jones admits that in addition to winning the vacant IBF title he “needs to put on an exciting performance.”

In two of his most recent fights Jones has failed to impress, despite being featured on the biggest stages in the sport. Against fringe contender Jesus Soto Karass (24-4-3, 16 KOs), on the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Margarito, Jones won a highly questionable 10-round majority decision. In their rematch, Jones decisively defeated Karass over 12 entertaining rounds. But in his next fight against perennial contender Sebastian Lujan (38-5, 24 KO) on the Cotto-Margarito II undercard, again he disappointed, even though he won a lopsided and lackluster 12-round decision. 

Against the dangerous knockout artist Bailey, Jones might be inclined to avoid exchanges by trying and outbox his opponent by using his legs and jab. That may help Jones win the fight, but he will need to mix it up and occasionally go toe-to-toe with Bailey if he hopes to entertain.

In the 16 years that Randall Bailey has been a professional fighter he’s seized two world titles and recorded some of the most vicious knockouts in recent memory. Bailey has KO’d more than 70% of the opponents he’s faced, but he’s never stopped an elite level fighter and at 37, that prospect seems unlikely. Bailey has fought just once in the last 15 months, defeating an unknown fighter named Yoryi Estrella (10-5-2, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision. 

Mike Jones represents the marquee victory that has eluded Bailey all these years. Jones looks at this fight as a chance to win a world title that could set him up for a big payday against some of the top stars in the division, such as Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, or maybe even Manny Pacquiao.

On Saturday night either Mike Jones or Randall Bailey will be crowned the new IBF welterweight champion. But before that happens, they will hopefully put on a good show.

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  1. The Thresher 04:39pm, 06/08/2012

    The esteemed Tony Weeks will be the referee, and the judges will be Dave Moretti, Richard Ocasio, and Jack Reiss.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 11:57am, 06/08/2012

    Teron Briggs-Great report…...in my view Randall is the nasty puncher here….like Oliver McCall…..if….big if…. they land their shots!

  3. The Thresher 11:41am, 06/08/2012

    Nice work Teron. If Jones decides to exchange with RB, it will be lights out. Bailey is like Hearns. A pure one-punch right hand KO artist. If he connects, it’s over.

    Jones got a gift against Karass in their first fight and hardly came off as a “hard puncher.”

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