The two fighters will scrap in an HBO-televised bout from Peterson’s home town on Dec. 10 at the Verizon Center.
Having been recently attached to fight Khan, and already having faced Peterson, Bradley is in a unique position to comment on the bout. And the fact that he can’t make a call speaks to how closely-matched the fighters are.
“Hmmmmm…Wow…Wow. I have no idea who will win, dude,” said Bradley, who signed Thursday with Top Rank Inc. and will debut with the company on the undercard of the Nov. 12 Manny Pacquiao–Juan Manuel Marquez fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“”That’s going to be a real tough fight for both of them. I don’t have a pick on that fight. I honestly don’t, man.”
The 24-year-old Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) has won eight consecutive bouts, four of them by knockout, and is coming off of a fifth-round knockout victory that dethroned Zab Judah as IBF titleholder in July.
The 27-year-old Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) scored a 12th-round knockout over Victor Cayo (26-2, 18 KOs) in July, earning the IBF’s No. 1 contender status and the right to challenge Khan.
“I think that for Amir Khan, this will be his toughest fight. I’ll be checking it out, because I’m a fight fan,” said Bradley, who is 27-0, with 11 KOs.
In December of last year, on an HBO-televised, Golden Boy Promotions card, Khan scored a first-round knockdown and survived nearly being stopped in the 10th round of a unanimous decision victory over hard-punching, WBA interim champion Marcos Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) of Argentina.
On the Khan-Maidana undercard, Peterson and southpaw Victor Ortiz (28-3-2, 22 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., battled to a 10-round, majority draw, despite Peterson getting dropped twice during the third round of the fight.
Ortiz went on to dethrone current IBF belthoder Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs) as WBC welterweight titleholder in April before being dethroned himself via fourth-round knockout by Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) on Sept. 17.
Peterson’s initial title shot was in December of 2009, when he lost a clash of unbeatens by unanimous decision to Bradley for the WBO belt.
Although Bradley dropped Peterson in the third round and won by scores of 120-107, 119-108, and, 118-110, the bout was much closer than indicated by the scorecards.
Peterson is 2-0-1, with two KOs since falling to Bradley, including a seventh-round stoppage of Damian Fuller in April of last year.
“I think that against Khan, it’s a situation where Peterson’s got to come to fight, just like when he fought me,” said Bradley,
“I think that Khan has to come out and establish his speed. Khan is going to have to use his speed, use his reach and try to out-box Peterson.”
Bradley was legally advised that he could sign with Top Rank.
In his first bout under the Top Rank banner, Bradley will face former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor (38-5-1, 22 KOs), who successfully rebounded from a loss to Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) by scoring a split-decision win over junior welterweight Manuel Lueva (18-3, 10 KOs) in March.
In January, Bradley dethroned Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) as WBC junior welterweight beltholder by 11th-round technical decision, adding that crown to the WBO title that he already owned.
In July, however, Bradley was stripped of the WBC belt by that organization based on inactivity, a move which opened the door for Erik Morales (52-7, 35 KOs) to become the first Mexican-born fighter to earn a fourth title in as many different divisions with a 10th-round knockout over previously-unbeaten Pablo Cesar Cano (22-1, 17 KOs).
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com