Randall Bailey won a world title Saturday with only two punches in nearly 11 rounds. But they were two lethal punches.
Bailey, a former world champion, captured the vacant IBF welterweight belt with a stunning 11th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Mike Jones at the MGM Grand Garden. A right uppercut dropped Jones, and referee Tony Weeks counted him out at 2:55.
“I knew if I hit him flush it would be over,” said Bailey, 37, who last owned a world title in 2000 when he was the WBO junior welterweight champion. “We knew we were behind (on the scorecards), and what helped us out was by Mike getting brave. He set himself up for the big punch.”
After what had been a listless first nine rounds, Jones was comfortably ahead on the three scorecards – 90-81,
89-82 and 88-83 – going into the 10th.
Realizing he was trailing, Bailey (43-7) picked up the pace and knocked down Jones late in the 10th with a right hand.
The punch appeared to jump-start Bailey while at the same time might have taken something out of Jones (26-1).
In the 11th, Bailey was already winning the round when Jones walked into the right uppercut that ended the fight.
“I never saw either of those punches,” Jones said.
Guillermo Rigondeaux had no trouble retaining his WBA super bantamweight title, knocking down Teon Kennedy five times in four-plus rounds.
Rigondeaux (10-0) used a devastating left hand to drop Kennedy early in the first round, twice in the second and again in the fourth before finishing him off
1:11 into the fifth.
“It’s one of my best performances,” Rigondeaux said. “All my punches are great. I don’t have any bad ones.”
Kennedy (17-2-2) said of Rigondeaux: “He’s got the kind of punches you can’t see. They weren’t the hardest punches, but he’s so fast, you can’t see them.”
Jorge Arce’s featherweight fight with Jesus Rojas was declared a no decision after Rojas hit Arce with a low blow and a head butt simultaneously, followed by a left hook to the side of the head nine seconds into the second round.
Arce, who had knocked Rojas down early in the first round, was given five minutes to gather himself. But after talking to ringside physician Al Capanna, Arce was unable to continue.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.