Junior welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. and Top Rank, his promoter, wrapped up their deal as he agreed a cont deal to challenge welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. NFL scores
The match comes as no amazement. Bradley had been just one of the number 1 names to face Pacquiao and although Pacquiao has not yet signed the documentation, his agent, Michael Koncz, related he had committed to the pay-per-view fight.
Although Bradley will be moving up to the 147-pound division for the fight — there is no catch weight — he is roughly the same size as Pacquiao and has fought in the division before, including two fights gone when he outpointed Luis Carlos Abregu in a nontitle bout in July 2010. NFL odds
At 28 and in his prime, Bradley, who is fast and skilled but shortages power, probably poses more danger to Pacquiao than any of his fresh adversaries.
“It’s a very difficult fight. Stylistically, Timmy has a genuine threat,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef recounted. “I think Timmy is an incredibly skilled fighter. He has quick hands, quick feet, he is undefeated and he doesn’t know the best way to lose. Tim Bradley is a winner. Manny must be on top of his game versus Tim Bradley, who is in his prime. Manny has always taken on those challenges.”
Bradley will earn a career-high $5 million minimum purse.
“Manny and his team realize that so as to put on these large events you need the most talented fighters in the world and contest, and that’s the reason why he compliment all his opponents and what they bring to the table,” duBoef said.
Bradley was one of 5 opponents who were in the mix to fight Pacquiao. There was, naturally, Floyd Mayweather Jr, whose proposed fight with Pacquiao is the largest in the sport, but has languished for more than 2 years as the parts have put one road block in front of each other after another. The prospect of Pacquiao-Mayweather was again put on hold when Mayweather recounted earlier this month that he would move up to junior middleweight to challenge titleholder Miguel Cotto on May 5, also at the MGM Grand.
The other contestants Top Rank had debated with Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs), 33, were Juan Manuel Marquez (for a 4th fight), Cotto (for a rematch, although they could never agree on the weight) and junior welterweight titleholders Bradley and Lamont Peterson.
Peterson was knocked out of the running lately when Top Rank started discussing a fight between him and Marquez. In the end Peterson signed for a rematch with Amir Khan.
With Pacquiao not revved up to fight Marquez in a fast rematch of their tight fight in November, that left Bradley, who had signed last year with Top Rank with the express goal of positioning himself for a fight with Pacquiao.
“In Bradley, you’re coping with a skilled fighter,” duBoef said. “He’s a top fighter in the 140-pound division and he’s on everyone’s pound-for-pound list in the top 5 to 10. He had a destruction of Peterson (in a 1-sided call in Dec. 2009). He played with Peterson, who just defeated Khan, and I was on the other end in that fight because I was Peterson’s promoter. Bottom line – Timmy Bradley is a superb fighter.”