Tim Bradley became is bebecame incensed on Thursday when questions arose concerning a potential bout between himself and RING No. 1-rated WBA/IBF junior welterweight counterpart Amir Khan , behind whom Bradley is THE RING’s No. 2 rated fighter in their division despite being ranked No. 8 in THE RING’s pound-for-pound rankings, which do not feature Khan.
A 28-year-old WBO junior welterweight beltholder, Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) was originally scheduled to face the 24-year-old Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) on July 23.
Still, Bradley was legally advised that he could sign with Top Rank, which he has, and will debut with the company against former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor on the undercard of the Nov. 12 Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
If Bradley gets beyond Casamayor (38-5-1, 22 KOs), he could be in line to face eight-division titleholder Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) should Pacquiao get beyond his WBO welterweight title defense against WBO/WBA lightweight beltholder Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs).
If not Pacqauiao or WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs), then Bradley will likely resume pursuit of a clash with Khan, who has a defense on Dec. 10 against IBF mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs).
Bradley already owns a victory over Peterson, whom he floored in the third round of a clash of unbeatens for a unanimous decision victory and the WBO belt in December of 2009.
Peterson ranks among Bradley’s biggest wins, along with those over former world titleholders Kendall Holt and Devon Alexander. Like Peterson, Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) suffered his only loss to Bradley.
On Thursday, Bradley responded to questions concerning his reasons and rationale for not taking the fight against Khan.
Tim Bradley on the notion that he may have ducked Khan:
“That don’t bother me at all. Not one bit. Like I said, criticism don’t pay the bills. Everybody can talk and say whatever they want to say. One day, me and Amir Khan will be getting into the ring. We’ll settle it then.
“Just to bring up a quick story. I was supposed to fight Amir Khan way before now. I was supposed to fight Amir Khan after I fought Lamont Peterson.
“Then he went on and found Golden Boy, and Golden Boy didn’t want no part of it. So, you know, Amir Khan ducked me first. So before anybody wants to say that I ducked him, no, he ducked me.
“I was supposed to fight him after the Lamont Peterson fight, and then he switched over from I forget who he was with, but he went to Golden Boy. And we still tried to make the deal, and their phones didn’t ring.
“My phone didn’t ring. We kept calling and they didn’t pick up. So there you have it. I mean, they can say whatever they want to say. I have a plan and I have a new team.
“That’s going to push me. That’s going to definitely make Bradley a brand and a household name. When the time is right, me and Amir, we’re going to settle our differences and we’ll get it on.”
“Don’t bother me at all. Pound-for-pound, I’m ranked No. 8 in the pound-for-pound rankings. Amir Khan, he can be No. 1. It don’t bother me.
“They can put me No. 2. It doesn’t bother me at all. Because Amir Khan, believe it or not, he can’t move without me. At 140, he can’t move without me. It’s as simple as that.
“Khan needs me, I don’t need him. He needs me. So that’ what it really boils down to. I really don’t care. I really don’t care about what Amir Khan thinks or what people say about me.
“I really don’t care about it. “I’m going to get in there and fight my fight, fight-by-fight. That’s it. I have a manager, Cameron Dunkin, and I have Top Rank.
“I have a new promotional company that’s going to take me where I want to go and where I need to go. That’s their expertise and I just fight. That’s it.”
“I think Manny Pacquiao knocks him out. I think that Manny Pacquiao is going to stop him, probably in the late rounds.
“Like in round eight or nine. I think that he’s going to take him out. He won’t put Manny down.”
TOP RANK’S INCENTIVE BONUS
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum watched Joshua Clottey give what he felt was less than an honest effort during his unanimous decision defeat against THE RING’s No. 1-pound-for-pound WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao in March of last year.
The 79-year-old promoter felt similarly about in May, when Pacquiao appeared to have little trouble dispatching of Shane Mosley over the course of yet another lopsided 12-round defensive of his belt.
But after watching last Saturday night’s shutout victory by THE RING’s No. 4 pound-for-pound WBO/WBC bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire against what he viewed to be a general lack of effort by WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez, Arum’s stepson and Top Rank Inc. President Todd duBoef said he is willing to offer a $100,000 incentive bonus to Donaire’s next opponent to encourage that fighter to compete.
The bonus would be given in addition to the boxers’ contracted purse, which, for Narvaez, was $50,000 in defeat at WaMu Theater inside Madison Square Garden compared to Donaire’s $700,000.
During a national conference call on Thursday, Arum said that he supported and sanctioned the gesture.
“Sometimes, you see some fighters too anxious to quit the fight. We saw that with Joshua Clottey, and we saw that with Manny, we saw that with Mosley with Manny, and we saw that with an undefeated Argentine in Narvaez and Nonito Donaire. So what we’re doing is this is prizefighting. That’s what it’s called. Prizefighting,” said Arum.
” So, to induce fighters when the cause doesn’t look so promising to get in there and try to pull it out by becoming aggressive and so forth, we felt that if we gave them an incentive to do that, then we would get better performances out of the fights. Todd announced this and I agree with it, and I agree with it, and let’s see how it’s going to work.”
Photo by Associated Press
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org