Randall Bailey produced a stunning stoppage win against Mike Jones at the MGM Grand tonight to pick-up the vacant IBF welterweight title after being dominated for most of a forgettable fight in Las Vegas.
Both fighters started off tentatively, with Bailey taking the first round on work-rate alone, before Jones came into the fight from the second round and stamped his authority on the contest to take the centre of the ring.
Bailey went into a shell, allowing Jones to bank round after round until the fifth round, when some exchanges brought the fight to life with Jones looking the more assured going into the middle of the fight.
Jones, 29, continued to dictate the fight from round six, whilst Bailey waited far too long to get his punches off and ‘MJ’ was able to get inside to go to work with much more ease than the ‘KO King’ should have allowed.
In the eighth, a comfortable Jones caught the tiring 37 year-old with a smart right hand that seemed to stun the 50-fight veteran and just reiterated the Philadelphian’s dominance of the fight going into the final four rounds.
With his right hand cocked throughout, Bailey continued to look for that one knockout punch to live up to his name and found it in the tenth, striking straight through the guard and sent Jones to the canvas with his legs gone.
The bell to end the round saved Jones from testing if he still possessed his senses and he came out for the eleventh a little more weary of the power that Bailey held, attempting to dance his way through the session.
As the last seconds of the round ticked away, Bailey produced an amazing uppercut that took everything out of Jones and as the back of his head smashed to the canvas the bout was over.
Experienced referee Tony Weeks watched as a dazed Jones tried and failed to get up twice and called the bout off with the previously undefeated fighter completely out of it to crown Bailey a two-weight world champion.
The new champion weeped with joy when questioned by HBO’s Max Kellerman as the end of the fight a stated that he ‘hoped Jones would go down’ as he was a ‘one tough dude.’