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Bradley, Berto, and Bundrage: What's the fight?

Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title at Marlins Park in Miami on December 15, and former welterweight titleholder Andre Berto is now considered the most likely opponent.

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6 Total Updates since September 28, 2012
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Schaefer: Berto-K9 good to go, Arum 'playing' HBO

Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer says that he is holding a November 24 HBO date for an Andre Berto vs Cornelius Bundrage fight, which would be the main event of a tripleheader:

"We are holding Nov. 24 for a fight between Andre Berto and [Cornelius] 'K-9' Bundrage, and Richard Abril against Sharif Bogere. That will be a triple-header, and we are currently working on the third fight as well, and that's with HBO."

So far, it seems like the Berto-Bundrage talk is simply a lot more credible than that of the Timothy Bradley-Berto fight, which could happen on December 15 on HBO. Basically, Top Rank is saying they're trying to talk to Berto about it, but Schaefer is saying he's got the Berto-Bundrage fight lined up, and that he has the HBO date set, and this is, also, older news than the Bradley-Berto thing, which just came up today.

The Abril-Bogere part is new, as that fight was previously said to be set for November 3 on a special edition ShoBox: The New Generation.

If Berto does not fight Bradley, Schaefer believes that Bob Arum and Top Rank will match Bradley with Ruslan Provodnikov, and that a Bradley-Robert Guerrero fight also won't happen:

"I told HBO this would happen, that Arum never believed I’d play along and let Guerrero fight Bradley. Once we did, Arum is saying Guerrero priced himself out. Typical Arum. He hasn’t talked to us about Berto. Who is he talking to? He wants an easy fight and HBO is empowering him. It has nothing to do with money...HBO is getting played."

This should all shake out shortly, but if we do wind up with Bradley-Provodnikov, it'll be pretty hard to see the rest of this as anything more than another Top Rank smokescreen.

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Berto not sure if he'll face Bradley or Bundrage

Even Andre Berto might not know what the hell's going on in the continuing Bradley-Berto-Bundrage triangle rumor saga, as the fighter had this to say on Twitter this evening:

Just leaving the gym..... Being hearing a lot of rumors on my next fight. Either way it goes they "Gonna get this work"(Loaded Lux voice)...

Berto (28-1, 22 KO) also indicated that he had no idea about the negotiations for the supposed November 24 HBO fight with Cornelius Bundrage when that first came up, as he learned about it on Twitter via Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. It's always important to remember that quite frequently, fighters are not among the first five, 10, or 20 people to know what their next fight is as soon as it's done - and apparently, nothing here is really done, anyway, although Fight Hype is reporting that Berto-Bundrage is a done deal, and they say they're standing by their source and their story on that one.

The nice thing about all of this is that from Berto's side, he doesn't have a bad option. These are both really good fights. He's got the best of the lot here. If Bradley doesn't fight Berto, it appears he'll have to fight Robert Guerrero (which is its own saga right now) or Ruslan Provodnikov (which just isn't that good a fight overall). If Bundrage doesn't get Berto, well, he's just kind of left out in the cold, which is unfair, since he deserves a good fight, but that's boxing for you.

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Conflicting Bradley-Berto-Bundrage talk continues

To update once again on this Timothy Bradley vs ?????? situation, Fight Hype is reporting that Andre Berto vs Cornelius Bundrage for November 24 is a "done deal," and that Berto won't be fighting Timothy Bradley on December 15 at Marlins Park.

But wait!

Steve Kim is reporting that despite Richard Schaefer's claim that he represents Berto, Lou DiBella says that would be new information to him, and that he still promotes Andre Berto.

So here's what we've got right now:

  • Timothy Bradley will fight on December 15 on HBO.
  • There is a November 24 HBO card at least planned, or the date is available, anyway.
  • Andre Berto is fighting on one of those dates, either against Bundrage (11/24) or Bradley (12/15).
  • It is entirely possible that like the "Cotto negotiations" for Manny Pacquiao's December 8 fight, Berto is being used as a smokescreen for whatever reason by Top Rank. One way or another, it doesn't see like Berto knows much about a Tim Bradley fight on 12/15, or like his reps (whoever the hell they are at this point) know much about it, either. Throwing Berto's name into the mix keeps people talking about Bradley at the moment, whereas just going, "Yeah, he's fighting Ruslan Provodnikov" would not.

Steve Kim also reports that if the Marlins Park card goes ahead, Guillermo Rigondeaux could be part of the undercard.

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Schaefer represents Berto, no talks with Top Rank

After the earlier report that Timothy Bradley would most likely be facing Andre Berto on December 15 at Miami's Marlins Park on HBO, Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer has thrown an interesting wrench into the works, saying that he now represents Berto, which apparently is a surprise to Bradley's promoter, Bob Arum and Top Rank.

From Lance Pugmire:

Schaefer says he represents Andre Berto and hasn't talked to Arum about him. Arum: "I thought DiBella" has Berto.

I think we all thought that Lou DiBella still had Berto, since DiBella has been Berto's promoter forever, but it's important to remember that Berto is an Al Haymon fighter, and it's been reported before that none of Haymon's fighters are actually signed with a promoter, they're just promoted by certain promoters. With Haymon and Golden Boy working together near-exclusively these days (there are exceptions), that could be what has happened here.

Schaefer also says that Top Rank is spinning the negotiations for a fight between Bradley and Robert Guerrero, another Golden Boy fighter. Schaefer says it's not about money figures, but that Arum wants Bradley to fight junior welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov, whose career thus far has been featured mostly on ESPN Friday Night Fights, and isn't a guy considered a legitimate top contender, particularly at welterweight.

We'll keep you updated on this situation, which is developing in a fairly odd manner, with surprises all over the place. At this point, I really can't say with any certainty what Bradley is doing, what Berto is doing or who promotes him, or really what in the hell is going on with any of this. But if we wind up with Bradley-Provodnikov out of this, what an anti-climax that would be.

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