Friday Night Fights: Figueroa vs. Bailey

ESPN2 is coming live outdoors from Memphis, Tennessee.

In the studio today, we have BJ Flores. Tecate on board as a new sponsor.

What type of shot does Flores give Haye?
He doesn't really answer.
He says that Haye is very elusive and he won't get hit with that jab all night.

First Fight:
Shawn Porter vs. Eloy Suarez in a 4 rounder.

Look, I get the point of bringing up fighters slowly. I get the point of wanting to get fighters exposure on TV. I get the point of not putting in certain fighters too tough before you know what you have. That being said, I get a little tired of these type of fights. As a viewer I don't learn a lot about the fighter in these type of fights. At least it is the opening fight on FNF and not on HBO or on a PPV undercard. There are only so many TV outlets, so, the fight makes sense in this context.

KO in round 1 for Porter.

Flores is picking Pacquiao.

In the studio they talk Holt-Bradley.
I love the custom Montreal Canadiens jerseys that Bradley and Holt got at the press conferences. Supporting the home sports team is always a great way for a pop like they do over in wrestling.

They show some footage and clips from the weigh-in. Holt is much taller than Bradley.

Mark Davis vs. Steve Gonzalez
Davis is 11-0.
only 4 ko's.

uh-oh, Gonzalez has taken the fight on 8 days notice. here we go again.

The fight is scheduled for 8 rounds.

already early props for Gonzalez. I was wrong about him, and he looks like he is here to fight.

Atlas agrees with me in a way. He says that fighters who have heavy amateur backgrounds don't need to be matched so softly on the way up. They already have that background to fall back on. Atlas is dead on with that point, and he would know better than I would.

Forgot to mention this fight is at 130 pounds. After two rounds the action is pretty decent.

Davis is looking sharp after 3. He is landing lots of power punches body and head.

On the crawl they are listing upcoming fights and I had forgotten that Williams-Wright is next week. There hasn't been a whole lot of hype around that fight among the boxing writers. Perhaps the schedule has been full enough to look elsewhere and the attention will begin on Monday. I, for one, am looking forward to the fight. I believe Williams will win, on volume, but Wright is so tough and crafty that he will make it hard for Williams or for anyone.

Gonzalez is hanging in there. He is getting hit with some powerful looking stuff. He hasn't won any rounds, but he is still trying. Atlas says Davis has no respect for Gonzalez's power. It would be hard to imagine a late KO from Gonzalez.

BJ believes that Atlas (and by extension, that I am) correct in the assessment that fighters with deep amateur backrounds need not be matched so softly on the way up.

There's discussion about that fact that Davis says he will fight Gamboa at anytime, any place immediately. I say, it's easy to call him out right now, because it's not going to happen. Maybe Davis could win, but there isn't enough money in it for Gamboa to do it I wouldn't think.

Fight's over, I think Davis pounded out an easy victory and won every round.

We are about ten minutes away from the main event.

I had the pleasure of watching Bailey in person at a Broadway Boxing card in August. Since there is no bad seat in B.B. King's, I got to watch the man go to work from mere feet in distance away. And I can say that this guy was hitting extremely hard. So Figueroa is going to have to be careful in there.

In studio they discuss Edwin Valero, BJ's last fight, and RJJ-Sheika.

They mention Kessler as a Jones opponent. I like Kessler in that one.

Now they turn their attention to mixed MMA cards. I like them both, I would watch them both at the same place and the same time. For some reason, the media seems very against the idea. I am not sure why. I think they have ulterior motives.

Clearly, with Lesnar's popularity, and now Lashley's, it cannot be denied that there is a the cross-over audience between wrestling and MMA. And I would bet my life's savings that if Anderson Silva fought Roy Jones tomorrow, people would buy the fight. And if Faber fought Mayweather, or GSP fought Mosley, people would be interested. Whatever. Either way, the discussion of MMA plus boxing or MMA versus boxing is getting old. Run them together, run them separately, who cares. And for people who argue it's like going to see two different sports at the same time, if the match up is good enough, I really would pay extra to see two different sports on the same night. If I could see the Final Four and the NFL playoffs for a combined ticket at the same venue at the same night, I would buy it. You don't think people would buy a ticket to see Cotto and the Yankees from Yankees Stadium?

Figueroa vs. Bailey

Round 1
Figueroa is a lefty. the fight is for 12 rounds. bailey is winging away early. figueroa is showing movement in and out. huge right from bailey and figueroa is down 45 seconds in! Frankie is up. big body shot from bailey. atlas says frankie cannot afford to go straight back. frankie seems to have his wits about him. it wasn't a flash knockdown but he isn't rocked. bailey is hitting with hard lefts hooks to the body. frankie gets his own left to the body. bailey tries the right again but misses.

Uatu: Bailey 10-8

Round 2
watching the replays, the right wasn't as huge as I had thought. Atlas says it really sort of glanced off the dome of frankie and wasn't perfectly flush. frankie almost went down from a shot to the back of the head. forgot to mention this was a fight at 140. frankie isn't in trouble per se, but it still looks like bailey could crack him at any second. and Figueroa turns the tide! Frankie scores a knockdown of his own! bailey gets up, but he is being forced to tie up. wow, very large and surprising momentum swing. frankie ducks down for lefts to the body. frankie is really the man coming forward now. he is measured though, they tie up if he gets too close.

Uatu: Figueroa 10-8

Round 3
the right hook began the fall, but atlas points out there was a left to the back of bailey's head that led to the knockdown. round 3 starts with some in-scrapping and grabbing. frankie trying the lead lefts and if he misses he ties up. bailey on his toes and jabbing. frankie getting a straight left in there. bailey catches frankie with a right, this is a close round. left from frankie. atlas gives us a great analogy about bad neighborhoods and what frankie needs to do to win.

Uatu: Figueroa 10-9

Round 4
headbutt stops the action early in the round. double jabs from frankie. randall got round 3 from atlas. nice exchange of punches. bailey not throwing a whole lot. left to the body from frankie. and there's the boom shot! Bailey clips figueroa! he is flat on his back and he is not getting up. that was some kind of shot. he is still down, and being tended to. atlas says bailey blinded figueroa with a throwaway jab and figueroa never saw the right coming. frankie is responding. now he is being helped up.

Figueroa is now sitting in his corner and being assessed.
and he is up.

the right hand went right through the guard. Atlas is spot on with his commentating. figueroa never saw it coming. you really have to see this replay to get the effect, but it was a left jab to no effect followed by the right, right down the pipe or pike. (I actually had to look it up, and apparently there is disagreement whether it is "down the pike" or "down the pipe." My guess is that it was pike and then people dumbed it down to pipe, similar to tough "road" to hoe when it should be "row.")

winner by KO4...Randall Bailey

anyway, it really was a great right hand and victory for Bailey. This fight was a title eliminator, for whatever that's worth in the current landscape of boxing politics, but I expect to see Bailey in again on TV someday in the future, and everyone should want to see him. He reminds me of Glen Johnson, in that I am not concerned with his age or amount of losses, he brings a credibility and excitement factor that makes me want to watch him again.

More fights on ESPN2, but not for me. Check us out tomorrow for Holt - Bradley.

Posted by uatu

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