Known as "The Knockout King", Randall Bailey is widely considered to be one of the most devastating punchers in boxing today. Having competed in the light welterweight division until 2009, Bailey has since moved to the welterweight limit, where he has continued to enjoy much success in the ring.
The hard-hitting Bailey turned pro in 1996 and won his first 21 fights by knockout, including picking up the WBO light welterweight title with a first-round KO over Carlos Gonzalez, in 41 seconds, on May 15, 1999. He defended the title twice before losing it, on July 22, 2000, to Ener Julio in a close split decision.
Over his next three bouts, Bailey spent a mere four minutes and six seconds inside the ring, dismantling each foe by knockout to earn another title shot. On February 2, 2002, he won the interim WBA light welterweight title with a third-round KO over Demetrio Ceballos.
However, from May 2002 to December 2004, Bailey struggled to find his rhythm, winning only three of his next seven fights; losing a contest for the vacant WBA light welterweight belt to Diosbelys Hurtado courtesy of a seventh-round knockout and a subsequent crack at the WBO light welterweight title to DeMarcus Corley in a decision. He also lost on points to Ishe Smith with the vacant WBC Continental Americas, USBA, and WBO NABO welterweight titles at stake, and another shot at the WBO light welterweight title against Miguel Angel Cotto via TKO in the sixth round.
Moving past that dark period, Bailey went on a tear, winning seven consecutive fights, all in Florida. After beating Roberto Ortega via decision in May 2005, Bailey spent 2006 defeating Lenin Arroyo, Santos Pakau, Juan Polo Perez and Russell Stoner Jones, to get the right to face Shawn Gallegos for the IBA Intercontinental light welterweight title, on October 13. Bailey stopped Gallegos at 1:55 of the eighth round.
After knocking out the dangerous Harrison Cuello in January 2007, to defend his IBA intercontinental title, Bailey fought a furious battle against Herman Ngoudjo in Montreal, Canada, on June 8, with both fighters hitting the deck. Bailey would lose by 12-round split decision.
On January 18, 2008, Bailey rebounded to win the WBC Latino junior welterweight title by knocking out Anthony Mora in the fifth frame. Mora was down in rounds four and five.
For the remainder of 2008, Bailey fought at BB King Blues Club in New York City, as part of DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing series. On August 6, Bailey demolished the crafty Dairo Esalas via knockout with a crippling left hook to the body just 46 seconds into the first round.
On October 22, he got revenge over DeMarcus Corley, earning a decision victory in a rematch. Pressing the action all night, Bailey landed a straight right that dropped Corley in round three. Bailey’s pressure forced Corley to take a knee for an eight-count in round four as well.
In an eliminator at the Pepsi Pavilion, in Memphis, TN, with a shot at IBF junior welterweight titlist Juan Urango at stake, Bailey challenged Francisco Figueroa, on April 3, 2009, in a bout televised by ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. As Bailey had the reach advantage, Figueroa had to enter dangerous territory on the inside, and he paid for it, suffering a flash knockdown in round one. Figueroa returned the favor, however, and felled Bailey in round two. In the fourth, Bailey followed a blinding jab with an explosive right hand that dropped Figueroa, for the first time in his career, for the 10-count. Many media outlets considered this a candidate for the “Knockout of the Year.”
Coming off a four straight wins, Bailey met IBF titlist Urango on August 28, 2009, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. Fighting on even terms for much of the early rounds, Bailey landed a counter right hand to drop Urango hard for a nine-count. It was the first time that Urango had ever tasted the canvas. However, Bailey couldn’t keep up with the feverish pace and Urango dominated the second half of the contest, until the challenger’s corner felt it necessary to throw in the towel in round 11.
In late 2009, Bailey announced that he was moving to the welterweight division. His first fight at the 147-pound limit was a success as Bailey scored an eight-round unanimous decision over Germaine Sanders on December 12, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL. Bailey kept a busy pace, punching in combination and decking Sanders three times en route to winning every round.
Bailey traveled abroad in 2010, fighting twice at the Lotto Arena, in Antwerpen, Belgium. On March 19, Bailey destroyed the hometown Ghanaian transplant Jackson Bonsu inside one round, in what was an IBF welterweight elimination bout. Bonsu was floored twice before losing by TKO. The year ended in odd fashion for Bailey when he faced Said Ouali on December 10. After a slow-paced opener, the two combatants got tangled up near a corner post in round two, and Ouali was somehow flipped over the ropes, suffering an injury that lead to him being unable to continue. The bout was ruled a No Contest.
On September 3, 2011, Bailey took on Yoryi Estrella, at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, in Biloxi, MS. With scores of 100-89 twice, and 98-91, including having knocked Estrella down in round five with an uppercut, Bailey earned a wide unanimous decision victory.
Following a nine-month layoff, Bailey finally got his IBF welterweight world title opportunity when Andre Berto vacated the belt. On June 9, 2012, as part of the Pacquiao-Bradley undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Bailey faced the undefeated number-two ranked contender Mike Jones, of Philadelphia. After nine lackluster rounds, Bailey, down on the scorecards, once again dropped a fighter for the first time in his career, when he landed a jab-right hand combination near the end of the 10th frame. Jones arose and survived the remaining seconds to hear the bell. Looking for another blockbuster blow, Bailey found it with a right uppercut that bloodied Jones’ nose and mouth and dropped him for the full count, at 2:52 of round 11.
With the win, Bailey, at the age of 37, won a world title belt an astonishing 13 years after he won his first world championship.
Defending his IBF title on October 20, against former junior welterweight titlist Devon Alexander, Bailey took part in the very first title bout ever held at the new Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY. Unfortunately, despite tagging Alexander on a few occasions throughout the contest, Bailey looked rather sluggish, on his way to losing a decision.