Bailey stops Perez in first round in 147-pound bout
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.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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