- Devon Alexander v Randall Bailey
New IBF champ Alexander awaits Brook
Randall Bailey was way behind Mike Jones in their IBF welterweight title bout in June, but Bailey has the great equalizer in boxing: sick one-punch power.
He used it against Jones, knocking him down in the 10th round with one right hand, then knocked him out with another crushing right in the 11th round to win the belt. But Bailey had no such luck against Devon Alexander on Saturday, losing a lopsided decision and his title at the Barclays Centre.
Alexander easily outboxed Bailey and stayed away from his powerful right hand to win 117-109, 116-110 and 115-111, in a fight that provided very little action and had the crowd booing early and often. ESPN.com had Alexander winning 117-109.
"I know I could do way better," said Alexander, listening to the crowd boo but happy to become a two-division titleholder. "Randall is a veteran, and everyone knows his right hand. I coulda did way better. I had to be cautious."
Alexander was cautious and Bailey was practically in a coma, doing almost nothing other than coming close to touching Alexander a few times with the right hand.
While Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) landed 120 of 534 punches (22%), according to CompuBox statistics, Bailey landed just 45 of 198 punches (23%). The 45 punches are the fewest ever landed in a 12-round fight in any division in CompuBox's 27-year history, during which it has tracked thousands of fights.
"He was young and he was fast. He moved a lot," said Bailey, 38, of Miami. "He moved a lot faster than I thought. I couldn't get him to stand in front of me. I couldn't get set and fight my fight. He had the youth."
Said Alexander, of St. Louis: "I expect my work rate to be high. I knew I would come here and be smart and he'd throw that bomb, the right hand. I had to be smart. I will continue to learn. I'm champion again, three [belts] at 25 years old."
The fight was sloppy, with a lot of holding and grabbing. In the sixth round, referee Arthur Mercante was a bit tired of seeing Alexander and Bailey hang on each other and deducted a point from both at the same time, so it had no impact on the scoring.
The fight originally had been scheduled for September 8, but Bailey (43-8, 37 KOs) injured his back in sparring and the fight was postponed six weeks. At least with the rescheduling, the bout could be hidden on an undercard.
The few rights that Bailey landed, Alexander took well.
"I expected him to be strong," said Alexander, in his second fight at welterweight. "That's what we trained for. He's got more knockouts than I got wins, but I got a chin."
Bailey, also a former light-welterweight titlist, broke down and cried after the fight, saying he was unsure what he would do next. "I'm gonna go home and think about it, but my heart tells me I still want to fight," he said.
This article originally appeared on ESPN.com