Bob Arum hopes to sign Timothy Bradley in time for a pay-per-view undercard slot this fall. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Not that he really needed to do so, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has confirmed that he'll be interested in signing junior welterweight Timothy Bradley as soon as his legal situation with Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing is resolved. From Rick Reeno at BoxingScene.com:
"We would would affirmatively want to sign Bradley. When our attorneys give us the go-ahead, we will attempt to sign him. We're not going to do anything that our attorneys feel is questionable."
Arum has to be distant here for obvious reasons, but the feeling around boxing is it's just a waiting game on the legal side, and that Bradley is absolutely headed to Top Rank.
Bradley (27-0, 11 KO) still holds the WBO junior welterweight title, though he recently lost his WBC belt when the sanctioning body made the highly questionable decision to strip him. He was moved to "champion in recess" or whatever, but it's the second time the WBC has lifted Bradley's title from him, so why he'd want to deal with them any further is anyone's guess, but that's another story.
The 28-year-old Bradley would return on the Pacquiao vs Marquez undercard on November 12 if a deal can be made in time, but could also be pushed a few weeks further to the Cotto vs Margarito II show on December 3. Top Rank obviously hopes that they can get him signed soon and push him onto one of those pay-per-view cards. He's a potential 2012 opponent for Manny Pacquiao, they believe.
One thing I do want to note that I find funny: In January of this year, Bradley and Devon Alexander fought in a supposed "super-fight" clash of the two best junior welterweights int he world. They sold barely any tickets at the run-down, abandoned Pontiac Silverdome outside of Detroit, the fight didn't deliver big ratings for HBO, and in the end, it was frequently pointed at as one of the bum decisions made by the HBO Sports team as led by the now-departed Ross Greenburg, with the feeling being that the network grossly overpaid for a fight that the public didn't actually demand.
Here we are eight months later, and both fighters have moved on to the two true major promoters in U.S. boxing. Bradley is destined for Top Rank, leaving Shaw and Thompson behind, and Alexander has left Don King for Golden Boy Promotions. Both are in need of image rehab for various reasons, neither became a breakout star due to their forgettable fight, and the winner still needs an actual fanbase.