Timothy Bradley's mandatory defense of the WBO junior welterweight title against Lamont Peterson will head to a purse bid, according to Rick Reeno. No deal could be reached between Bradley's promoter Gary Shaw and Peterson's promoters at Top Rank. The bidding is scheduled for today at 1pm in Puerto Rico, where the WBO's offices are located.
Bradley (24-0, 11 KO) has fought twice this year, and will get a third bout in before the calendar turns to 2010, it would appear. He beat Kendall Holt in an exciting, overlooked fight in April, and went to a no-contest with Nate Campbell on August 1, a fight in which he appeared dominant for the three rounds of action, but that may have been aided by the eye injury Campbell suffered from a headbutt.
Peterson (27-0, 13 KO) has been sitting on his mandatory since overwhelming Frenchman Willy Blain in April, which netted him the "interim" WBO title, yet another in the endless line of completely unnecessary "interim" boxing titles.
I think it's a really interesting fight, and honestly I'm more excited to see this than I am a Bradley-Campbell rematch, so I'm glad that Bradley is doing this first. Bradley, at 26, would have some disadvantages in there against Peterson, who has three inches of height (5'9" to 5'6") and a full five inches of reach (74" to 69") on the titleholder. Both Peterson brothers have come along rather quietly, and have not been rushed into anything. Lamont's brother, Anthony, is an emerging contender at 135 pounds. (Anthony is the "FWAH!" brother for longtime BLHers.)
Reeno says that if Top Rank wins the purse bid, there's a chance that Bradley-Peterson could wind up on the November 14 undercard to Cotto-Pacquiao. If Gary Shaw wins it, he's already working with Showtime on a triple-header for December 5, and this would be the headlining bout. The Shaw-time tripleheader, in theory, would go head-to-head with HBO's Pavlik-Williams show, giving fans an intriguing choice, as unwelcome as those situations always are.