Sharkie's Machine: Urango Beats Bailey

By Frank Gonzalez Jr. August 30, 2009 - Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood Florida, IBF Jr. Welterweight titlist, Juan “The Iron Twin” Urango (22-1-1, 17 KO’s) of Colombia took on a former two time titlist, Randall “The KO King” Bailey (39-7, 35 KO’s). This was a fight that came down to two things, chin and stamina. You can just about always tell who’s going to win fights by looking at the records. You see a guy with one loss going against a guy with 6 losses and it’s pretty obvious. This fight was no exception.

The first round was a slippery affair as both men slipped from being off balance in turns. First Bailey slipped and then a moment later, Urango slipped. In the first couple of rounds, Bailey seemed the better boxer, boxing from the outside, where he used his range, popped his jab and set up his right when he could. Urango was all about aggressive pressure and though he didn’t score many clean punches but did manage to keep Bailey going backwards and fighting more defensively, instead of his specialty, which is his offense. At times, Urango’s aggression was ineffective but that was only for as long as Bailey had the stamina to move backwards, counter and change directions when appropriate.

I thought Bailey had just barely won the first three rounds by being the better ring general, but by the fourth, Urango’s pressure was starting to get to Bailey. Urango landed a clean right in the fourth that softened Bailey up a bit. Urango was landing a bit more than Bailey was going into the fifth and at times, Bailey became a one trick pony, as he relied entirely on his bazooka right, instead of out boxing the very out-boxable Urango.

In the sixth, Urango’s pressure was controlling Bailey, forcing him backwards and neutralizing him. During an inside exchange, Bailey landed a short right that sent Urango to the canvas. Urango was up at the count of nine and proceeded to press Bailey backwards again and during an exchange right before the bell, Bailey’s glove touched the canvas after being punched by Urango. It wasn’t addressed by the referee, Tommy Kimmons. It happened fast but was confirmed during the break by the instant replay that showed Bailey’s left glove touch the canvas while trying to prevent falling backwards.

Urango had succeeded in dictating the pace, forcing Bailey into running mode, to compliment going backwards mode. In the seventh, Urango’s left eye was swelling badly from one of those bazooka rights compliments of Bailey. But Urango pressed forward and continued to dominate the action with aggressive pressure. In the ninth round, Urango landed a flush right that saw Bailey go down. He got up at the count of nine. Urango chased him down and landed another right and again, Bailey went down. Bailey barely survived the ninth round.

In the tenth, Bailey ran and Urango gave chase. It was almost sad to watch the 12 year veteran, Randall Bailey, who is 34, get old right before your eyes. But that’s what happened. Bailey tried to clinch and Urango caught him with a right hook to the body that saw Bailey visit the canvas for the third time. Again, Bailey was up by the count of nine, milking every second, just before the sound of the bell.

In the eleventh round, Bailey looked wasted and his corner threw in the towel. Juan Urango went on to win by TKO in 11.

See, that’s the bad thing about a nickname like ‘the KO King’ it can jump up and bite you where you sit when you least expect it. Needless to say, Urango, whose best asset is his desire to win, won the fight on sheer will. There isn’t anything particular I can think of to describe Urango's style, other than he’s a come forward fighter who punches wide and often. And he wins fights. He did lose to Andre Berto when he moved up to Welterweight and he lost to Ricky Hatton two years ago in Vegas, as Hatton was even more athletic than Urango was but Friday night, Urango’s pressure style helped retain his IBF title against a fighter who is probably past his peak but that takes nothing away from the heart and desire Urango brings to each of his fights. For that, I commend him. Guys I’d like to see Urango fight next include Emir Khan, Devon Alexander or Marcos Maidana.

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Post Script:

In the recent fight between Tim Bradley against Nate Campbell, a Bradley head butt opened a cut over Nate’s left eye that impaired his vision. When he complained about seeing spots in his left eye, the referee waved him out, without regard for the rules. The rule states that if an injury causes a fight to be stopped before four rounds are complete, it is ruled a No Contest. If an injury happens after four rounds are complete, they stop the fight and go to the scorecards to determine the winner. So, when Bradley, the hometown fighter, got the win by TKO 3, that was the wrong ruling and a lot of folks were angry, not because we like one fighter or the other but for the blatant disregard for the rules. Without rules, there is chaos.

I want to thank all the fans, fighters and writers and whoever else let the California Commission know that their original ruling was unacceptable.

In a recent interview after the amended ruling, Nate Campbell said, “I was very surprised. You would think that it’s going to be open and shut, and if they look at the evidence then it’s a no-brainer. But in boxing a lot of the time, what’s “right” has nothing to do with what actually happens. Look at the decision in Paulie’s (Malignaggi) fight with Diaz. So yeah in a way I was very surprised, but at the same time it gave me some reassurance that no matter how tired of the nonsense in boxing I get, sometimes there still is a glimmer of hope that truth ultimately sees the light of day, and that boxing is not a lost cause.”

Yeah, there is hope after all!

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Article posted on 30.08.2009

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