International Boxing Federation (IBF) Welterweight Champion Randall "KO King" Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) has fully recovered from a back injury that postponed his original September 8th title defense date against Devon Alexander "The Great" (23-1, 13 KOs). Three-time world champion Bailey plans to live-up to his "KO King" nickname against former two-time world lightweight titlist Alexander on October 20, featured on Showtime Championship Boxing, live from the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
"Training has been great, everything has gone very well," Bailey said from his Florida training camp. "All I'm focused on is my October 20th fight in New York City. I could have cared less where it was, as long as it wasn't St. Louis (Alexander's hometown)."
The assertion by Alexander's manager/trainer, Kevin Cunningham, that Bailey withdrew from that fight date because he wasn't ready to fight Alexander, questioning the validity of Bailey's back injury, has fueled Bailey's fire.
"Kevin Cunningham is crazy," Bailey claimed. "He's not going to get hit and that's why he's been talking so much 'smack.' Ron Jackson (Mike Jones' head trainer) did the same thing and he got fired after I knocked out Jones. (Bailey captured the IBF crown on June 9 by way of a devastating 'Knockout of the Year' candidate right uppercut in the 11th round.) I understand why he's so upset, though. Now, he has to wait a little longer to get his two checks for this fight as manager and trainer. I'm glad Cunningham has pumped me up because, when I hit this kid, just touch him, he's going to know he's in big trouble. All of his talking is going to end up in an ass whooping for his boy. Once the bell rings, it's just me and him, and I know what to do. He's been hurt by smaller guys than me. He's smaller than Jones and everybody saw what I did to him."
"I'm not playing any games. Nobody has ever given me anything. I've earned everything I've done. I wanted this fight to happen as soon as possible; I don't have another five years left in my career. I'm the one who said to make this fight in the first place. Cunningham's way out of line; I guess they wanted me to fight a guy with a cane, wearing a neck brace. There was never a question that this fight would not take place."
Bailey's longtime manager Si Stern, who worked with Bailey's promoter Lou DiBella to reschedule the fight, added, "Cunningham has no basis for anything he's said about Randall. He's been shooting his mouth off a lot. Who is he to question Randall's trainer, two-time world champion John David Jackson, about what sparring partners he's brought in? Who has Cunningham ever trained other than Alexander and Cory Spinks? John David has trained great fighters like Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley. Injuries are just an unfortunate part of boxing. Randall has 14 more knockouts than Alexander has had pro fights, so why would he be afraid to fight him like Cunningham has been saying? I've never seen Randall more determined to knock out an opponent than Alexander because of all of Cunningham's trash talk. He will shut Cunningham's mouth on October 20!"
Bailey, arguably the premier one-punch knockout artist in the world, could very well steal the spotlight from all of the other world-class fighters in action Oct. 20 if he lands his vaunted right on Alexander's chin.