LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09: Timothy Bradley enters the ring before his fight against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Timothy Bradley will be back on December 15 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, says manager Cameron Dunkin, with no opponent named and only one of three possibilities mentioned.
Bradley (29-0, 12 KO) will be defending the WBO welterweight title he controversially won from Manny Pacquiao in June. The 29-year-old Bradley was waiting and hoping to land a money rematch with Pacquiao on December 8, but was passed over in favor of Juan Manuel Marquez, the Mexican great who will be meeting Pacquiao for a fourth time on that date instead.
Three opponents are being discussed, reportedly, but the only one mentioned is 140-pound Friday Night Fights regular Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO), a talented and exciting fighter, but one who so far has appeared to be possibly a notch below the world class level. Of course, you never know until you know, and given that Provodnikov has earned some kind of step up, it's not the worst idea, especially given that, as we've mentioned, the cupboard is pretty bare for marquee possible opponents.
Bradley did call out Floyd Mayweather yesterday, but as we all know, that's just not going to happen.
Worth mentioning is that Golden Boy's Amir Khan will also reportedly fight on December 15, so if Bradley is going to be on HBO, where Khan fights, this means one of a few things:
- Khan is planning a tune-up fight, possibly in the UK, and HBO isn't interested or will do tape delay coverage, meaning that in a roundabout way, we'd have a "Top Rank and Golden Boy" show on HBO that night.
- HBO will be airing Khan, and Top Rank will have to either land a Showtime date (seems unlikely, but not impossible) with Bradley, or take him to independent pay-per-view.
- Obviously, someone may defect to Wealth TV or Epix, where such 2012 stars as Sergio Mora and Hasim Rahman fight.