The City of Key West has declared this Saturday as “Randall Bailey Day,” honoring the new International Boxing Federation (“IBF”) Welterweight World Champion Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey. Now a three-time, two division world champion, Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) is coming off of a potential knockout of the year performance, on June 9, over previously unbeaten Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs) for the vacant IBF title. “This is a great honor,” Bailey said. “My first fight in Key West was in 2006 and since then the people there have been behind me 100 percent. This world championship isn’t just for me; it’s for Key West, too.” Bailey is scheduled to defend his title on September 8, against former world champion Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs), on Showtime from a site to be determined.
“Randall Bailey Day” is also a celebration of boxing in Key West, which will also honor recently retired world champion Glenn “The Road Warrior” Johnson and Sherman “Tank” Williams, who last month upset Chauncy Welliver in Macau to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) China & Asia Pacific heavyweight champion. Williams, in fact, proudly calls himself a Bahamian with a Conch punch (Conch is a citizen of Key West).
Bailey, Johnson and Williams have become role models in Key West, where they always attend boxing shows and work with youth at the local Police Athletic League (PAL) facility, as well as the community at large to encourage youngsters to gain respect for discipline and hard work.
Also being honored is Bailey’s manager, Si Stern, and Dave Johnson, who are largely responsible for bringing international boxing recognition to Key West. Stern and Johnson have made financial contributions to provide guests with hot dogs and hamburgers, while Coca-Cola and Budweiser have donated beverages.
“When Dave and I decided to bring pro boxing to Key West some eight years ago,” Stern commented, “it was a dream come true because we knew about the history of boxing in Key West. In the old days, Ernest Hemingway watched Kid Gavilan, the original ‘Kid Chocolate,’ and other Cuban boxers who fought out of Key West. The City of Key West loved our idea and with the help of the Tourist Development Commission (TDC), Key West boxing became a reality and we are delighted that this day has happened. Who could believe our small city and county now has world champions who call Key West their second home?”
Saturday’s festivities (3 p.m. ET start) will include a motorcade escorted by two Key West police cars, two motorcycles and two mounted units. Also part of the motorcade will be a Key West Fire Department pumper truck, 60-passenger Conch Train (donated by Historical Tours of America) for PAL participants and their families, plus additional vehicles for the honorees. The Key West Rotary Club is a sponsor of this event.
Local boxers such as Jimmy Bowman, Eddie Agin, Danny Van Staaden and others will also be on hand.
The celebration culminates at Truman Waterfront, where the honorees will be presented with Honorary Conch status, as well as a proclamation declaring Saturday, July 28, 2012, as “Randall Bailey Day.”