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Timothy Bradley to fight Luis Carlos Abegu

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According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, Timothy Bradley has reached a deal with HBO to fight Luis Carlos Abregu on June 26.  The fight will probably take place in Bradley's "home" arena, the Agua Caliente resort in Rancho Mirage, California. Bradley would not be defending his junior welterweight title, as the fight would be at 147 pounds.

This fight makes sense on several fronts.  First, there had been reports that Bradley was having difficulty finding an opponent.  Abregu is a fellow Gary Shaw fighter who seems to have plateaued, recently struggling against gatekeeper types Richard Gutierrez and Irving Garcia.  Second, it keeps Bradley busy against an opponent that people have heard of.  With HBO's unofficial junior welterweight series going on, just about every big name in the weight class is tied up either fighting each other (Maidana-Cayo, Khan-Malignaggi, Alexander-Urango, Ortiz-Campbell) or too big of a draw to face a fighter like Bradley (Pacquiao, Hatton, Marquez).

Perhaps most important, it will give an introduction to Bradley to HBO viewers.  Bradley has fought on Showtime an astounding seven times, but has never previously fought on HBO.  This may help put him in the mix for one of the fights we'd most like to see - Timothy Bradley against Devon Alexander.  Both fighters have been putting the world on notice with spectacular performances, and getting Bradley acquainted with the HBO audience makes it that much more likely that HBO would be willing to lay down the coin to make that fight happen.  It's been speculated that HBO wants to have a series of fights that culminate in a new 140 pound champion being crowned, and adding Bradley to their mix is the only way to get that to happen.

As for Bradley-Abregu, it's still a very good fight that could have some fireworks, even though it's not necessarily the most competitive fight on paper.  Abregu is an offensive minded fighter with massive defensive holes, which means that his bouts have generally been exciting.  Bradley, on the other hand, has developed into a well-rounded fighter who has great ring intellect to go with a style that is fan friendly.  Bradley is already smallish for a junior welterweight, so we'll see how he handles the extra weight, but expect to see a lot of leather flying in this fight.