Top Rank has requested to reserve March 30 for a boxing event featuring unbeaten WBO welterweight Tim Bradley at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be Bradley fighting there, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
For the month of March, Arum said that he is considering a rematch between Bradley (29-0, 12 knockouts) and IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) as well as one featuring 140-pounders Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs) and Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs), one of which could happen on March 16 at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Peterson is 3-0-1 since suffering his lone defeat by unanimous decision to then-junior welterweight beltholder Bradley in December of 2009, and Rios is coming off a bloody Fight-of-The-Year-caliber seventh-round knockout of Alvarado in October.
Both fights would be on HBO.
“We have Bradley fighting that month, and Rios-Alvarado fighting that month. One will be at Staples Center, and one will be at The Mandalay Bay. We don’t know which is going where. We hope to do a Bradley fight in March, and we hope to finalize Rios and Alvarado for March,” said Arum.
“The two sites being contemplated are the Staples Center and The Mandalay Bay — one for one event, and the other for the other event. That is the absolute truth. We”ve let Staples Center know that we’re going on March 16, and we’ve let Mandalay Bay know about going on March 30. Those conversations were held yesterday. Now, we have to analyze where the best place is to put each of those fights.”
Pacquiao chose to face Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time on Dec. 8 and was knocked out in the sixth round by Marquez.
Peterson is coming off a controversial split-decision which dethroned Amir Khan last December.
Peterson has been ordered to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Kendall Holt, whose promoter, Gary Shaw, has offered up $50,000 to win Tuesday’s purse bid and the right to promote a bout between Peterson and Holt.
Rios had been a consideration for the winner of Marquez-Pacquiao IV, and was ringside for that bout.
“We will have that matter [March 30 at Mandalay Bay] on our agenda for our Jan. 8 meeting,” said Kizer, of the NSAC’s commission session in January.
“We’ll have that on the agenda for approval, unless they withdraw it before then. Obviously, things could change. We have that pending for our meeting on Jan. 8.”
ARUM EYES ROMAN MARTINEZ-DIEGO MAGDALENO
Another scenario for consideration, said Arum, could involve Puerto Rican junior lightweight Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs).
If Martinez is victorious against Mexico’s WBO beltholder Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs) on Jan. 19 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Arum said he would like to match him with southpaw Las Vegas resident Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KOs).
“It could be on one of the two cards,” said Arum. “That could be on the March 30 Mandalay card, because Magdeleno would be a natural sell. But we’re also looking to do some dates in April, so he could be on one of those cards.”
MARQUEZ-PACQUIAO V IN SEPTEMBER?
A date has also been targeted for April 20, of which Arum said, “That may be a surprise,” adding, “but we haven’t finalized it.”
“We’re hoping to go twice in April, once in May and we’ll probably have [Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.] either in May or June,” said Arum. “We hope to have something in July, take off in August, and, meanwhile, hopefully, if that’s what the fighters want to do, come back for Pacquiao-Marquez V in September.”
CHAVEZ BACK IN THE SPRING?
Arum’s tentative plan is to return Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) to the ring by “May or June” in the wake of September’s unanimous decision loss to RING champion Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) that dethroned him as WBC titleholder in Las Vegas.
But Chavez acknowledged having tested positive for marijuana metabolites consistent with the use of the drug in the aftermath of the fight with Martinez, whom he dropped in the 12th round.
Chavez’s infraction, which could lead to a suspension, a fine or both, will be addressed in some form during the NSAC’s meeting on Jan. 8, Kizer said.
“We plan to have, at the very least, a status update on Chavez, if not, the hearing itself, on Jan. 8, if he’s ready to do so,” said Kizer. “But at the very least, we’ll go on Jan. 8, and his attorneys will need to show up and explain the status of the matter to the commissioners.”
JOHN MOLINA RETURNS AGAINST HARD-HITTING DANNIE WILLIAMS ON JAN. 11
In a clash of hammer-fisted lightweights, “Dangerous” Dannie Williams (22-2, 18 KOs), of St. Louis, Mo, faces John “The Hammer” Molina (24-2, 19 KOs), of Covina, Calif., in the main event of a Jan. 11 event to be televised on ESPN’s Friday Nights Fight from the Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Molina, who turns 30 on Dec. 28, is attempting to rebound from September’s first-round stoppage loss to then-WBC beltholder Antonio DeMarco that ended his streak of six consecutive wins, including five knockouts.
Williams, meanwhile, is coming off October’s seventh-round knockout of Rynell Griffin, rebounding from a unanimous decision loss to Henry Lundy that ended his streak of nine straight wins, seven of which had come by knockout.
“We’re just looking forward to seeing John Molina back in action on ESPN Jan. 11. As you know, he’s taking on a tough foe in his first fight back from the DeMarco bout. Virtually immediately after that fight, John was constantly stalking us to get him back in there as quickly as possible,” said Molina’s promoter, Dan Goossen.
“He wanted to get out there and show the world that what happened against DeMarco was a freak instance. He’s going to have his opportunity to right the ship immediately with a victory. But as you know, if you’re going to get yourself back into the thick of things, then you’ve got to take on opposition like Williams to get there.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org