By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Randall Bailey’s inactivity set a CompuBox record for futility Saturday night.
According to the punch-counting company, the 45 overall punches Bailey landed during his unfathomably boring fight against Devon Alexander set its record for fewest connections in a 12-round fight. Bailey’s poor performance cost the 38-year-old veteran his IBF welterweight title, as Devon Alexander defeated him by unanimous decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
All three judges — Don Ackerman (116-110), Tony Paolillo (115-111) and Waleska Roldan (117-109) — scored St. Louis’ Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) the clear winner in the first of four bouts broadcast by Showtime. CompuBox credited Alexander with landing 120 of 534 overall punches, 75 more than Bailey (45 of 198).
A displeased crowd booed Alexander loudly after he was announced as the winner and spoke to Showtime’s Jim Gray.
“I was cautious,” Alexander said. “I should’ve let my hands go a little bit more, but when you fight a guy like that you have to be smart. He was slower than I thought, but tricky as a veteran. I felt like I hurt him with my jab, but I should’ve let my hands go more.”
Miami’s Bailey (43-8, 37 KOs, 1 NC), who fought the final three rounds with a nasty cut over his right eye, didn’t complain about the decision.
“He moved a lot faster than I could,” Bailey said. “I couldn’t get him to stay in front of me. And he kept moving, and I couldn’t get set and fight my fight. He had youth on his side tonight.”
Bailey predicted he would knock out Alexander prior to Saturday night, much the way the heavy-handed banger nicknamed “KO King” did against Mike Jones four months ago in Las Vegas. Together they basically bored Barclays Center fans into collective fits of aggravation.
Other than brief stretches in the fifth round, there wasn’t much memorable action in the whole fight.
Bailey buckled Alexander’s legs with a right hand early in the fifth, but Alexander came back strong. One of the few exchanges in the fight occurred later in the fifth, when Alexander stung Bailey with a solid straight left and Bailey quickly responded with a hard right.
Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. deducted a point apiece from Alexander and Bailey for excessive holding in the sixth round. Neither fighter fought with much urgency therafter, though, and both boxers appeared content to finish the forgettable fight on their feet.
Nevertheless, the 25-year-old Alexander became a two-division champion and won his third straight bout.
The former junior welterweight title-holder won his previous two fights by decision over dangerous Argentine sluggers Lucas Matthysse (split decision) and Marcos Maidana (unanimous decision) following his lone loss to WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (technical decision).
Bailey won the then-vacant IBF title in his previous fight by stopping the previously unbeaten Jones by 11th-round technical knockout June 8 on the Bradley-Manny Pacquiao undercard.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.