The attention of the boxing world was deservedly on Amir Khan following his fifth-round KO of fellow 140-pound beltholder Zab Judah on Saturday.
However, the British star’s WBA and IBF title unification victory turned the attention of some fans and media members to the fighter who holds the other two major 140-pound titles (WBC and WBO), Timothy Bradley, THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight who was originally scheduled to face Khan on July 23.
Bradley opted out of the Khan fight and is now involved in a lawsuit with his co-promoters, Gary Shaw and Thompson Boxing Promotions.
RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield caught up with the undefeated junior welterweight’s manager Cameron Dunkin to get Bradley’s impressions of Khan as well as information on some of Dunkin’s other high-profile fighters, such as Brandon Rios, Nonito Donaire, and James Kirkland.
The following are Dunkin’s comments on each of his established titleholders/contenders:
Bradley (27-0, 11 knockouts), WBO/WBC 140-pound titleholder: Dunkin said Bradley's focus on Saturday night was more on the progress of his pregnant wife, Monica, than on Khan’s KO of Judah.
The birth of Bradley's child is taking place against the backdrop of a lawsuit filed against him and Dunkin by co-promoters Shaw and Ken Thompson as a result of Bradley's decision to pull out of a bout with Khan.
“Monica was still having contractions yesterday 20 minutes apart, which sounds as if it is getting close,” said Dunkin. “But until she dilates or the water breaks, she can’t do anything. So whenever it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”
Bradley could not be reached, but Dunkin said the Palms Springs, Calif. native watched Khan-Judah and was far from awed by the Brit‘s performance.
“Tim said that Khan’s okay, but that ‘he didn't impress me a lot. He's just a guy. I have no problem fighting him, Cameron,’” said Dunkin. “‘When you tell me it’s time, then you know I’ll fight him and I’ll beat him, no problem.’”
Dunkin added that he wants to deal with Bradley’s legal issues as quickly as possible.
“We're just now answering their suits,” Dunkin said. “I have a couple of lawyers. I want to get this thing done and get it out of our lives very quickly. It’s time to get some stuff moving down the road.”
Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs), WBA lightweight titleholder: Rios will likely return to the ring on the Nov. 12 Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III PPV undercard.
Potential opponents include Michael Katsidis, Kevin Mitchell, Marco Antonio Barrera and Miguel Vazquez.
Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs), WBC/WBO bantamweight titleholder: Donaire recently reunited with Top Rank after an failed attempt to join Golden Boy Promotions earlier in the year. Dunkin said Top Rank president Todd duBoef is looking for a date, likely in the fall.
“We're looking to get him a date as fast as possible,” said Dunkin. “I spoke to [Donaire's wife] Rachel last night and I spoke to Todd this morning. We're waiting on Todd to find a date.”
Donaire would like to return to the ring in October.
DuBoef still is shopping Donaire’s next bout to HBO and Showtime.
Kirkland (29-1, 26 KOs), former 154-pound contender: Kirkland scored his second straight knockout in as many wins since being reunited with trainer Ann Wolfe after stopping Alexis Hloros 25 seconds into the second round on the Khan-Judah undercard.
“Ann said to me that they wanted to fight somebody (good),” Dunkin said. “She said that if James feels as if he is threatened and he respects the opponent then the better he will fight and that it will bring out the best in him.”
“She said that James is ready. I said ‘Well, it’s up to you and [attorney] Michael Miller and James.’ I said ‘If you're ready for me to look for a serious opponent, then I will.’ I would like to see him back in the ring in September or probably October.”
Dunkin said that he will survey a list of “good, solid, ranked guys to see who makes sense,” ranging from already junior middleweights, middleweights and welterweights who have moved up in weight.
Steve Molitor (33-2, 12 KOs), former two-time 122-pound titleholder: Dunkin is considering a match with WBO 122-pound beltholder Jorge Arce or former titleholder Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., whom Arce dethroned in May by 12th-round stoppage.
“I would like to keep him at 122 pounds,” said Dunkin. “Steve really doesn't want to move up, although he would for the right fight.”