According to Rick Reeno at Boxingscene, all parties involved have agreed to a bout between Timothy Bradley and Marcos Maidana. Bradley would be defending his junior welterweight title, while Maidana will likely need to give up his interim title (and his mandatory status at Amir Khan) for the shot. The fight will be on June 19 on HBO.
Initially, Bradley was to make his HBO debut at welterweight against stablemate Luis Carlos Abregu. Hats off to Bradley's team for making this fight, as it's a much more intriguing and significant bout. Bradley is currently ranked the #1 junior welterweight by The Ring and Bad Left Hook, while Maidana is ranked as the #4 junior welterweight in the world. This will be the fifth time in six fights that Bradley has faced a top 10 welterweight, and nearly all of those defenses have come against dangerous opponents with little name recognition.
This fight should be quite the test for both Bradley and Maidana. This will be the first time in his career that Bradley is facing an elite puncher. In his unification bout with Kendall Holt, Bradley was knocked down twice, and it's sure that his chin will be tested once again. However, it appears that he has made strides with his defense since that fight, and he'll have to put his skills to additional good use.
Say what you will about Maidana, but the man can punch. Out of 29 fights, he's won 27 by knockout, including his recent knockout of Victor Cayo by a brutal solar plexus shot. While there will be a great speed disparity in this fight, there will be almost as much of a power disparity, and Maidana can box enough to keep from just being flat outboxed.
Hats off to both men for taking on this kind of challenge and making what looks on paper to be a fight of the year candidate.