NEW YORK — Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley is set to return on March 16 after having beaten Manny Pacquiao by split-decision in June, and former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa is the top consideration, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
Gamboa (22-0, 16 knockouts) rose from a ninth-round knockdown after scoring one each in the second and seventh of a Dec. 8 unanimous decision for the WBA’s interim junior lightweight belt over game southpaw Filipino Michael Farenas (34-4-4, 26 KOs).
Gamboa-Farenas took place on the undercard of a sixth-round knockout victory by Juan Manuel Marquez over weltterweight rival Manny Pacquiao. Gamboa was in the ring for the first time since September of last year, when he decisioned current WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon.
Gamboa’s rapper-turned-promoter, 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, is in New York, where Top Rank is promoting Saturday night’s 126-pound clash of Mexicans between WBO titleholder Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs) and Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs).
“The matchmakers are working on a sensational opponent. That fight is being negotiated, and hopefully, that will all fall into place,” said Arum during an interview on Wednesday.
“Once it’s announced, people are going to say, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to see the fight.’ But I’m not telling you who he is fighting.”
Bradley is 29-0 with 12 knockouts, and had campaigned as a junior welterweight titleholder prior to facing Pacquiao.
Photo by Al Bello, Gettyimages
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com