Timothy Bradley’s move toward the top

By Francis Walker
Updated: November 17, 2011

NEW YORK, NY (BASN)–Undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley may be closing-in on a golden opportunity to fight Manny Pacquiao in his next fight. The 28 year-old from California appeared on the Pacquiao-Marquez III undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV last Saturday. Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs, 1 NC) looked stellar during his eight-round TKO of former world champion and Cuban amateur star, Joel Casamayor (38-6-1).

Bradley dropped Casamayor three times during what was one of the best performances of his career. The victory also marked seventh victory in world title fights.

In 2011, Bradley made tons of headlines for what he did both inside and outside the ring. At the start of the New Year, Bradley unified the WBC/WBO junior welterweight championships following a foul-filled, sloppy fight that ended on an accidental clash of heads that “blinded” Devon Alexander.

Bradley agreed to fight Amir Khan this summer, but ultimately pulled out of a deal worth more than $1.2 million. Bradley broke his contract with longtime promoter Gary Shaw for an opportunity to sign with Bob Arum’s Top Rank. It’s clear that Bradley wants to fight Pacquiao (or Floyd Mayweather), but Shaw couldn’t get Bradley either fighter. The move to Top Rank proved golden because, Bradley is in position to pose a new challenge and a new threat to Pacquiao.

Does Timothy Bradley deserve an opportunity to fight Manny Pacquiao?

Absolutely! Why not?

Bradley is an undefeated world champion. Bradley has been showcased on HBO and SHOWTIME. He has improved in every fight, as his level of opposition became increasingly difficult. Bradley can box well, but he is an action fighter. Bradley will jab, but throw a lot of power punches. He is fast and has good speed. Bradley may not be recognized for his power, but he hits hard enough to garner respect.

There is also an element of resistance and determination – perhaps Bradley’s two most important qualities. Bradley has a strong will and his willing to grind for his victories.

When he traveled to Nottingham, England to capture the WBC 140-pound title from Junior Witter, Bradley was determined to return to the United States as a world champion. Bradley not only put everything on the line that night, but he fought with punishing conviction and with a relentlessness that very few fighters to jave fought Bradley were able to match.

The night Bradley unified the WBC/WBO junior welterweight championships the first time against Kendall Holt in April 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Bradley survived two knockdowns and still emerged victorious with a 12-round decision.

Bradley’s 12-round drumming of Lamont Peterson in 2009, a then unbeaten prospect with well-polished boxing skills, was perhaps his career-best performance.

Bradley even forced a resurgent Nate Campbell, recognized for his awesome right-hand and overall toughness, to quit after just three rounds following an accidental head clash.

Always seeking new challenges, Bradley, in July 2010, moved up to welterweight for a non-title bout against Juan Carlos Abregu. Bradley exhibited excellent stamina, great conditioning, and various boxing skills during a 12-round decision.

Bradley’s resume is perhaps the most polished in the junior welterweight division. Khan, the unified WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion, has an important date with Peterson in Washington, D.C. Khan has key victories against Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Rene Maidana, and a badly faded but his resume isn’t Bradley’s.

Austin Trout retains world title

Not only did unbeaten world champion Timothy Bradley make headlines, but so did undefeated WBA jr. middleweight titlist Austin Trout.

Headlining a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME, Trout (24-0, 14 KOs) successfully defended his 154-pound title for the second time last Friday with a dominant sixth-round stoppage of Frank LoPorto (15-5-2, 7 KOs).

“He is a tough guy,” Trout said. “He just kept coming. I felt like he wasn’t going to quit so I needed to stay busy. I just kept pushing, trying to get that stoppage.”

Trout simply slapped LoPorto silly with looping hooks and uppercuts. Trout did a nice job of using his southpaw left by throwing combinations well. LoPorto was determined, but took a lot of punishment and simply didn’t have the skills to compete with Trout.

The fight was stopped at the 2:32 second mark of the sixth round.

“I felt like I did my thing,” Trout added. “If anybody feels like I don’t deserve this belt, please come and take it.”