NEW YORK — Randall Bailey continued his comeback on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Bailey (35-5, 32 KOs) won his seventh consecutive fight with a second round TKO of Harrison Cuello (13-5-2, 9 KOs).
Cuello, who never fought outside his native Dominican Republic, was a late substitute for Michael Warrick, who failed an eye exam the week of the fight.
Cuello was no match for Bailey’s power. Bailey stunned Cuello with a solid right hook, before knocking him on all fours following a flurry of punches.
Bailey, a 32-year-old from Miami, Florida, is fighting in one of the deepest talent-rich divisions in boxing. Rickey Hatton, Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Junior Witter, Juan Lazcano, Paul Malignaggi, Lamont Peterson, and an upcoming Demetrius Hopkins – the nephew of middleweight great Bernard Hopkins – are some of Bailey’s competitors.
Bailey is a former WBO junior welterweight champion. 91% of his victories have occurred by knockout. Bailey also has 17 career first-round knockouts. Bailey has not lost since losing to undefeated world champion, Miguel Cotto (TKO by 6) nearly three years ago.
Hatton-Castillo To Collide In June
Jose Luis Castillo nearly blew a super fight with Rick Hatton in June. Both Castillo and Hatton were individually showcased on an HBO televised doubleheader against a pair of strong previously undefeated fighters on Saturday at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
Hatton, an undefeated two-division champion, returned to the junior welterweight (140) division. The 28-year-old from Manchester, England, was a 12-round unanimous decision winner and relinquished the IBF 140-pound title from Juan Urango, 26, Jaraquielle, Colombia.
Castillo, 33, Mexicali, Mexico, meanwhile, desperately needed a second-half rally to escape with a 12-round split decision win against Herman Ngoudjo, 27, Douala, Cameroon.
Hatton-Castillo will be one of the most talk about fights of 2007. The bout will feature two fighters that moves forward, throw a lot of solid punches, and can easily be engaged in a slugfest. It made sense for both fighters to be showcased against two previously unbeaten fighters, one a world champion.
Hatton (42-0, 30 KOs) clearly had more experience, was better polished, and had more explosiveness in his arsenal than Urango (17-1-1, 13 KOs). Hatton entered the fight with at least five years more experience than Urango, who only had 17 professional bouts since 2002.
Urango, who held the same title Hatton won when he dethroned Kostya Tszyu two years ago, did land a few good body punches in the sixth round, but Hatton clearly dominated. Urango was simply not in Hatton’s league, as all three judges scored the bout 119-109 for Hatton.
Castillo (54-7-1 47 KOs), meanwhile, struggled against Ngoudjo (15-1, 9 KOs). In the early rounds, Castillo was a one punch fighter. Castillo fought as if his victory was already logged in the win column of his pro record. Castillo, instead, was already in danger of losing the fight in the fourth round.
Although Ngoudjo had 47 less fights and 13 years less experience than Castillo, Ngoudjo was no walk-through. Ngoudjo landed plenty of three-four punch combinations and appeared to be the sharper and faster counter puncher.
By the fifth round, Castillo had already been warned at least twice for throwing low blows by referee Robert Byrd.
It was not until the seventh round when Castillo fought more aggressively. Castillo pressed the action throwing more punches. Ngoudjo didn’t throw as many punches has he did during the first-half of the fight.
Castillo was the more effective fighter in the second half of a very close contest. One judge scored the fight 115-113 for Ngoudu. Castillo won the fight on the other two judges’ scorecards 115-113.
McCline Falls To Valuev, Knee Injury Jameel “Big Time” McCline was unsuccessful in his third bid to win a world heavyweight championship on Saturday. Undefeated Nikolai Valuev (46-0, 34 KOs) retained his WBA title in Basel, Switzerland when McCline (38-7-3, 23 KOs) suffered a knee injury in the third round.
Valuev is four victories way from breaking the late Rocky Marciano’s undefeated heavyweight record of 49-0.
McCline, a 36-year-old from Harlem, NY, challenged Valuev, 33, St. Petersburg, Russia, in the biggest world heavyweight championship fight in history.
Both fighters fought at a record combined weight of 590 pounds. McCline, 6’ 6,” was 268 lbs., but was much smaller compared to Valuev’s 7’ 3,” 322 lbs.
Conditioning was perhaps McCline’s biggest enemy throughout his career. McCline simply ran out of gas in previously failed heavyweight title bids against Wladimir Klitschko (TKO 10) in 2002 and Chris Byrd (L 12) in 2004.
Although McCline had won six consecutive fights prior to challenging Valuev, McCline is five years removed from his career-best performances against Michael Grant (TKO 1), Mount Whitaker (W 12) in 2001 and current WBO heavyweight champion, Shannon Briggs (W 12) in 2002.
Valuev’s next fight is scheduled in April against WBA No. 1-ranked contender, Ruslan Chagaev.