Top Rank Inc. officially announced on Wednesday the signing of former WBO and WBC junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, who 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.
Bradley’s biggest victories have come over former world titleholders Kendall Holt and Devon Alexander, as well as contender Lamont Peterson, with Alexander and Peterson suffering their lone defeats against Bradley.
“Tim’s incredible accomplishments against Alexander, Holt and Peterson have cemented him as one of the marquee fighters in the world,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank Inc. “We look forward to working with him and further developing this chapter of his career.”
The 28-year-old Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) 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.
Beyond Casamayor, Bradley told RingTV.com that he would consider a rise to welterweight if it meant a shot at eight-division titleholder Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) or even newly-crowned WBC beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs).
Pacquiao must first get beyond Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), whom Pacquiao has battled to a draw and a split-decision victory in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Mayweather is coming off a fourth-round knockout that dethroned Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) on Sept. 17.
“Man, I can’t wait. I cannot wait. I think that this definitely opens up the gates for me. Top Rank is huge. They know exactly how to promote fighters. They make their fighters superstars,” said Bradley during an exclusive interview on Oct. 1 with RingTV.com.
“I feel that this is going to definitely help my career to blossom. I don’t see it as a negative thing in any way whatsoever. I know that they’re going to do the right thing by me.”
Bradley followed that up with his first defense, winning a battle of unbeatens by unanimous decision over Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs), whom Bradley dropped in the third round of their clash in December of 2009.
In January, Bradley dethroned 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.
But 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).
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com