- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Knockout artist Randall Bailey, who won a vacant welterweight belt with one shot on June 9 on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. pay-per-view undercard, will make his first defense against Devon Alexander, Bailey promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com on Monday.
The bout is due to take place Sept. 8 on Showtime.
"The venue is to be determined, but Randall can knock him out any place on Earth," DiBella said. "Randall's gonna win by knockout, so it doesn't make a difference where he knocks him out."
DiBella said he was still awaiting a contract from Alexander promoter Golden Boy but "we've agreed on all the major deal points. Obviously, Devon Alexander is the favorite. He's younger, he's more athletic and he's a better boxer. But if Randall lands on his chin at any point in the 12 rounds, Devon Alexander is going to sleep.
"Randall is the hardest puncher in the game and Devon often leaves himself open, so we know that there will be chances for Randall to land that big punch."
Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs), 37, of Miami, is indeed one of boxing's heaviest hitters, especially with his right hand. He was way behind the favored Mike Jones on all three scorecards after nine uneventful rounds when he landed a clean right hand to drop Jones seconds before the end of the 10th round. In the 11th round, Bailey, who held a junior welterweight belt from May 1999 to July 2000, got Jones again, this time for good, landing a crushing right uppercut for the upset knockout victory and a second world title.
"I always said that dude has a monster right hand, monster. That dude has power," Alexander said. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't (thinking about it). That's something I'll be working on to avoid, get out of the way of that. But the right hand comes in so slow and he's not that fast. His skills are limited, but he has that one thing that can count (power)."
Kevin Cunningham, Alexander's manager and trainer, said he was waiting to hear from adviser Al Haymon about the specific terms of the fight for Alexander but that they are excited about it.
"You've got Devon, the boxer-puncher, and the one-punch knockout artist in Bailey. I think it's the perfect matchup," Cunningham said. "Some of the best fights in boxing are boxer-puncher versus knockout artist."
Cunningham said he watched Bailey's fight against Jones and saw things he believes Alexander can take advantage of.
"It looked like to me that early in the fight Randall Bailey touched Mike Jones with a right hand and that Mike Jones was nervous about being caught with a right hand the rest of the fight even if he was winning by outboxing Bailey," Cunningham said. "You could see Bailey was looking to land one big shot. Randall has always been one of the most dangerous punchers in boxing. But I see that there are a lot of things we can take advantage of -- take his right hand away and execute the game plan, and that's what we plan to do.
"We're not going into this fight looking to just outbox Randall Bailey and get a decision. Our plan is to go in there and stop Randall Bailey. Everyone will talk about Randall Bailey's right hand, but Devon has the ability to stop him and that's what we plan on doing – winning by knockout."
Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs), 25, of St. Louis, is a former unified junior welterweight titlist whose lone loss came via 10th-round technical decision in a January 2011 140-pound unification fight.
Alexander has won 10-round decisions in his two fights since, both against big punchers -- a split verdict against top contender Lucas Matthysse last June followed by a virtual shutout decision against junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana, who, like Alexander, had moved up to the 147-pound welterweight division for the nontitle fight.
"I'm definitely excited about the fight," Alexander said. "I'm only 25 and want to be crowned a three-time world champion already in my career. I'm young and I'm blessed for this opportunity, and I will take advantage of it."
Alexander said he had hoped to face Paulie Malignaggi, another of the welterweight titleholders who is also with Golden Boy, but the deal could not be worked out.
"We wanted Paulie and he was talking a lot of stuff, but we can take care of that later," Alexander said. "I'm happy that Randall Bailey is going to step up to the plate."
Alexander knows Bailey's right hand is the weapon he needs to avoid.
"That's his shot, the right hand," Alexander said. "It definitely wasn't his best performance at all, the Mike Jones fight. Mike Jones acted like was scared the whole fight and he got caught. Lights out. I know what Bailey can do, what is the best thing in his arsenal. But I know he won't be able to keep up with me.
"People do sleep on a lot of my power. I'm learning how to sit down more and more on my punches. I have way more power than what I've been showing. I got the power. Me and my coach know I have the power and skill. I'm ready to go work and I'm excited."