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Bailey stops Perez in first round in 147-pound bout

7/3/2006 - Boxing

MIAMI -- Former WBO junior welterweight champion Randall
Bailey stopped Colombia's Juan Polo Perez in the first round
Tuesday night.

Bailey, of Miami, patiently stalked the smaller Perez, gradually
building his punch output in the scheduled eight-round welterweight
bout at the Sheraton Mart Hotel.

The taller Bailey (32-5, 29 KOs) was effective with a lead left
jab to the head, setting up a right follow early in the round.

Just when it seemed Perez would return to his corner and prepare
for the second round, Bailey caught him with a left-right
combination to the head near the ropes. Perez (46-43-4) moved
toward the center of the ring, but Bailey connected with a straight
right to the head, sending Perez to the canvas.

Perez, a former IBF junior bantamweight champion, struggled to
reach his feet yet appeared as if he would beat referee Frank
Gentile's 10-count. But a wobbly Perez fell again as Gentile
reached nine, forcing Gentile to count him out at 2:59 of the
round.

"I really didn't want to press the action so soon," Bailey
said. "I took my time until I felt I found the right distance to
land my shots."

The 31-year-old Bailey won the WBO 140-pound title in 1999,
stopping Carlos Gonzalez in the first round. After two successful
title defenses, Bailey lost the belt to Ener Julio in July 2000.

Bailey won a second 140-pound title after a third-round knockout
of Demetrio Ceballos in February 2002. But the WBA title reign
lasted only one fight, with Diobelys Hurtado stopping Bailey in
seven rounds three months later.