Despite being 38 and coming off the loss of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title belt by decision to Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs), three-time, two division world champion Randall "KO King" Bailey (43-8, 37 KOs) isn't ready just yet to hang-up his gloves for good. To the contrary, the Floridian is looking for, as he calls it, a few real fights against the likes of fellow sluggers Marcos Rene Maidana or Keith Thurman.
Bailey is open to fighting past and present world champions, top contenders, or leading prospects but, what this feared one-punch threat would really like is a fan-friendly showdown against a straight forward, power puncher.
"World title fights aren't always the best fights," he explained. "I want to be in entertaining fights, the ones TV networks want to pay for, and fans love to watch. If I had my choice, right now, it would be against Maidana or Thurman, even (Vyacheslav) Senchenko. They come forward and fight, rather than run around in a boring fight. I don't really like fighting 12 rounds, so I'd rather not fight guys moving around to just win on points.
"In the Alexander fight, nothing really happened to me, other than a head-butt. He just caught me on a bad night. Some things are meant to be and other things aren't meant to be. I watched that fight and I never, ever came that close to hitting somebody on the button, barely missing, over and over again. There will be other nights for me, I promise."
"I know that we will see the real Randall Bailey in his next fight," Bailey's longtime manager Si Stern added. "I can't wait."
Bailey turned pro in 1996 and he won his first 21 pro fights, all by knockout, including his first world title in 1999, the World Boxing Organization ("WBO") light welterweight championship against Carlos Gonzalez. Two successful title defenses followed for Randall against Hector Lopez and Rocky Martinez. In 2000, Bailey stopped Demetrio Ceballos in the third round to become the Interim World Boxing Association ("WBA") light welterweight champion. Bailey has also knocked out top fighters such as Jackson Osei Bonsu, Juan Polo Perez, Harrison Cuello, Frankie Figueroa, Santos Pakau, Anthony Mora, and Mike Jones. His devastating knockout of Jones last June, which was for the IBF welterweight crown, should be nominated as a strong candidate for the 2012 KO of the Year award.
Bailey hasn't thought about retiring. His 16-year professional career hasn't produced real wars, physically speaking, and that, along with today's advanced athletic training techniques and nutritional knowledge, allow him to be world-class competitor at what used to be an advanced age for boxers.
"I know what my limit is, what I'm still capable of doing," Bailey said about retirement. "I've kept care of my body and live a good lifestyle. I'll know when it's time; nobody is in my shoes. I need to regroup with my team, straighten a few things out, and I'll be back stronger than ever."