Bob Arum says that despite intentions to book Timothy Bradley's next fight for December 15 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the venue is already booked for another event, so if Bradley is going to fight on that date (which honestly might not happen just because of timing quirks), he'll have to fight somewhere else.
HBO has also reportedly already turned down Zab Judah as a potential opponent for Bradley, which really doesn't surprise me. The network kind of tried to get out of the Judah business finally a couple of years ago, but did approve him for a fight against Amir Khan in 2011. Khan won in five dominant rounds that night, with Judah never really in it, and the most memorable thing Zab did that night was complain about a low blow.
I'm not saying Zab's not a quality fighter still, because he's a contender at 140 and can still go in the ring to the degree he's been able to for years. He's not washed-up or anything like that, and sure, he's probably better than plenty of guys who do get HBO dates recently, but we know the story with Judah and I think anyone who wasn't blinded by Zab's domination of Vernon Paris in March kind of knows what we'd get with Bradley vs Judah. I don't think there's much compelling about that fight.
Lamont Peterson has been mentioned as a possible opponent if he can get his situation cleared up with the Nevada commission after failing his VADA drug test earlier this year. Peterson has been ordered to defend his IBF junior welterweight title against Judah, and that's a potentially interesting decision for Lamont to make. Either way, he'd probably make good money, but I think he'd be a slight favorite or at worst even money with Zab, and he'd also be keeping a title belt that gives him leverage. If he moved up to 147 to challenge Bradley for his belt, he'd be facing a guy who already dominated him once back in 2009, and going into the unknown with no title belt. It's not like Peterson is some big star who wouldn't be taking a pretty real risk there -- the belt he has now enables him the opportunity to push his way through the door. Without it, he'd need another one, and as easy as belts can be to come by in boxing, they can be just as difficult to pick up in the wrong situation, and he might have the wrong situation.
There have been three approved opponents that are currently being considered. I'm not sure if Peterson is one of them, but Ruslan Provodnikov has already been mentioned.
Here is a quick list of fighters that you should erase from your memory for the purposes of picking Bradley's next opponent, as all of these fighters are under Golden Boy's banner:
- Amir Khan
- Lucas Matthysse
- Marcos Maidana
- Paulie Malignaggi (I like to think you know he's fighting on Oct. 20 and wouldn't be available Dec. 15 anyway, but people say dumber things all the time)
- Keith Thurman
- Danny Garcia
- Erik Morales
- Robert Guerrero
- Victor Ortiz
- Pablo Cano