Friday, November 27, 2015
He turned professional on Jan. 17, 1974 with a 6 round unanimous decision victory over highly regarded Victor Abraham. His first big test came in August of 1975 when he put his undefeated record (24-0, 14 ko's) on the line against world ranked contender Arturo "Turi" Pineda (25-5-1, 21 knockouts). Shields boxed beautifully winning a unanimous 10 round decision at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He won the Los Angeles showdown on scores of 6-4, 8-2, and 9-0-1. Shields had served notice to the boxing world that he was a serious threat to win a world title.
2 fights later, Randy would taste defeat for the first time, at the hands of undefeated Vicente Mijares (7-0, 2 ko). Shields was stopped on cuts and a rematch was ordered. It was nearly 3 months later when Shields would get his shot at redemption, and this time it was an elimination match for a shot at the WBC World Title. It was an all out war, but Mijares would again come out on top, this time via Unanimous Decision on scores of 6-4-2, 7-4-1, and 7-5 in rounds.
Big wins over Ramiro Bolanos (51-10-2, 30 ko) and Ray Lampkin (34-5-1, 16 ko) would catapult Shields into his first shot at a major title belt. It was Oct. 21, 1977 and Shields would have to travel to the Champs home town of Sacramento California where he would face NABF Welterweight Champion Pete Ranzany (35-1, 23 ko). The bout ended in round 2 due to a clash of heads, and was recorded as a technical Draw. The fight was just too promising to let things end this way, so a rematch took place just 3 months later at the same venue. This time the champion - Ranzany stopped Shields at 1:54 of the 11th bloody and bruising round.
Shields performance cemented his place as a ranked contender, and he faced mostly world class opposition after the battles with Ranzany. He went 2-2 in his next four bouts, with the two losses coming to boxing legends Wilfred Benitez, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
July 30, 1979 was the day Shields would finally get a crack at the World Title when he faced WBA Welterweight Champion Pipino Cuevas in Chicago. It was a wild affair that went the entire 15 round distance. Cuevas kept his World Title belt with a controversial unanimous decision on scores of 72-71, 72-71, and 73-67.
Shields scored two more victories after the loss against Cuevas, and was rewarded with another chance at the NABF Welterweight title that had eluded him in his 2nd bout against Pete Ranzany. This time it was for the Vacant Title, and Shields would overwhelm his opponent Jose Figueroa, completely outclassing him and stopping him via technical knockout in round 3.
Randy Shields now held the NABF Title belt, and after scoring a big win over Luis Mateo (9-1, 6 ko) was given an easy tune-up where he scored a 4th round knockout over Ray Comayagua, and then was given one more shot at the world championship. This time he would face legendary world champion Thomas Hearns (30-0, 28 by knockout). The fight took place April 25th or 1981 in Phoenix, AZ. Shields was all heart but just could not find an antidote to the punishing jab, and overwhelming firepower of "The Hitman" Hearns. The bout, scheduled for 15 rounds, was stopped at the end of the 12th round with Hearns way ahead on all 3 of the judges scorecards.
Shields would not fight for another title, but did face world champions Milton "Ice Man" McCrory, and Johnny "Bump City" Bumphus in non-title bouts.
Randy fought his last pro bout on Sept. 25, 1990 at the Country Club in Reseda, CA. going out on a winning note with a 10 round decision victory over Stewart Baynes.
It was a long and successful campaign for Shields who proved himself a worthy and world class contender. If you weren't a world class championship level fighter, you had no chance against him. He became a favorite among Southern California boxing fans, and when it was all said and done, he finished his career with a record of 41-9-1, 21 ko's.
Click Here for Randy Shields Entire Pro Boxing Ledger
If you would like to see Randy Shields in action, I have the following bouts available on DVD:
WILFREDO BENITEZ [tko-by-6]
DAVID MADRID [tko-4]
JOSE PALACIOS [w-10]
JOSE "Pipino" CUEVAS [L-15] (WBA Welter Title)
THOMAS HEARNS [tko-by-12] (WBA Welter Title)
JEFF MORGAN [w-10]
JOHNNY BUMPHUS [tko-by-8]
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