Frankie Randall: 1961-2020
By: Sean Crose
No one expected it. The great Julio Caesar Chavez, the undefeated pound for pound star had stepped into the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a record of – wait for it – 89 wins, and 1 draw. Although most felt Chavez had gotten a gift when he fought Pernell Whittaker to a controversial draw four months earlier, few doubted the iconic fighter would have any trouble taking care of his opponent on this particular evening in January of 1994. For Chavez’ opponent was the 48-2-1 Frankie “The Surgeon” Randall, a man whose previous opponent, Francisco Lopez, boasted a record of 0-10.
Yet, in one of the great upsets of the 1990s, that decade of great upsets, Randall stunned the world by besting Chavez via split decision (thanks at least in part to some Chavez low blows). The widely unknown Randall, who had been fighting for over a full decade, had defeated the great Chavez. It would the highlight of the Randall’s career, a victory which will be remembered for as long as fans follow boxing. It was a crowning achievement for a gifted fighter who sadly passed away Wednesday from Parkinson’s Disease and Pugilistic Dementia at 59 years of age.
“I just got word from DeMarcus Randall son of Frankie Randall 3x Champion that the Lord has call him home,” Randalls’ old trainer, Aaron Sowell, announced on social media. “The Surgeon is operating in Heaven with his Lord.May God comfort the family thru this hard time. Peace and Blessing be with the Randall Family.(RIP).”
Randall was born on September 25th, 1961 in Birmingham, Alabama, the same city he would pass in on Wednesday. During his time in the ring, however, Randall ran up an impressive resume. Aside from besting Chavez, the fighter held junior welterweight titles on three occasions. Unfortunately, a life in the ring can take its toll. By the time he retired in 2005 with a record of 58-18-1, Randall was essentially in his mid forties. Unfortunately, he spent the last portion of his life battling the debilitating illnesses which had taken hold. News of the fighter’s passing brought out public condolensces.
“I’m so sorry to learn of the passing away of Frankie Randall,” WBC Mauricio Sulaiman tweeted, “The one who shook the world by dethroning then undefeated @Jcchavez115 . May he Rest In Peace.”
“Just learned of the passing of Frankie Randall,” tweeted promoter Lou DiBella, “a truly talented fighter and a champion. Ended his career treated as an opponent, but the string of losses didn’t detract from the many memorable battles in his memorable #boxing career. Rest easy, Frankie.”
The team at Boxing Insider offer their thoughts and prayers for Randall and his family.