Slowly but surely Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley has built up his credentials as one of the premier junior welterweights in the country.
The Indio-based fighter Bradley (19-0, 11 KOs) faces junior welterweight contender Donald Camarena(18-3, 9 KOs) at the Chumash Casino on Friday in defense of his WBC Youth junior welterweight title. The fight will be televised on Showtime.
Reared in a boxing family Bradley has participated in the sport since childhood. As a teen he captured numerous junior national titles in amateur boxing. He barely missed making the Olympic boxing team in 2004.
But once he decided to become a professional prizefighter there were no big contracts or agents banging on his door. It was relatively quiet for Bradley who had dreams of becoming the next Sugar Ray Leonard.
A chance meeting with Thompson Promotions at a golf course opened the door for Bradley who was given a shot on one of the fight cards held in Ontario. They were impressed.
“He’s such a hard worker,” said Alex Camponovo, the matchmaker for Thompson Promotions.
That was step one. Step two was finding a trainer to shape him into a professional fighter who stands his ground instead of running around the ring slapping opponents and scooting out of danger.
In came Joel Diaz, the older brother of current IBF lightweight champion Julio Diaz. In a matter of two years Bradley has transformed into a well-rounded fighter whose strength, speed and punching power have been honed to a junior welterweight contender ranked number five by the WBC.
The road to a world championship has slipped into a more treacherous mode as Bradley has faced test after test against opponents with reputations for ruining young budding stars.
“I’ve been facing a lot of southpaws,” says Bradley whose next opponent is also left-handed. “Ever since I fought (Jaime) Rangel people think I have problems with southpaws. But that fight I didn’t know he was a southpaw until 11 days before the fight. You need to prepare for all of the different angles.”
Colombia’s Rangel was able to show on a fight televised nationwide that left-handers could land big punches on Bradley last December. It was the Desert Storm’s first televised match.
“I can fight southpaws,” says Bradley confidently. “If I get enough time I can fight southpaws easily as I fight right-handers.”
Bradley’s last victory came against a tall southpaw from Africa named Nasser Athumani. That southpaw was knocked out by the fifth round.
Now comes Camarena who has never been knocked out and has exchanged punches with other stars like Paul Malignaggi and Herman Ngoudjo. Though he lost both fights the Colorado boxer has tenacity.
“I know it’s going to be a good exciting fight,” Bradley promises. “It’s going to be a battle on the inside.”
Josesito and Liz Quevedo win
In a lightweight contest scheduled for eight rounds Riverside’s Josesito Lopez (20-2, 12 KOs) dominated against Nicaragua’s Octavio Narvaez (13-4-1) at the Irvine Marriott on Thursday. But in the fourth round when Lopez landed a beautiful lead right hand-right uppercut and right hook, it looked like the finish for the Nicaraguan contender. Instead, the veteran fighter fired a punch at Lopez’s groin not just once, but twice. After that Lopez found it difficult to summon enough energy to finish strong. Despite the fouls Lopez still won handily 79-70 twice and 80-69.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have thrown that combination because after that he hit me low,” said Lopez jokingly. “I lost a lot of strength after those low blows.”
Lopez has turned his young career around since losing to Wes Ferguson another young fighter who is managed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. During his last three fights boxing fans have noticed a more complex fighter who uses his jab along with his aggressiveness. His domination over Narvaez proved he’s ready to crack the top 20 list of lightweight fighters.
In another fan favorite bout Elizabeth Quevedo, a four-time U.S. National amateur champion proved she could make the transition into the professional ranks as a junior welterweight with a dominating performance against Danielle Christiansen.
Maybe it was too dominating.
In the first round Quevedo fired a left hook that wobbled Christansen’s legs but she survived the round. The next two rounds saw Quevedo display her sharp-shooting and caused a cut above the left eye of her opponent. At the end of the third round the ringside physician advised the referee Tony Crebs to halt the fight.
“I didn’t want to look wild. I wanted to take my time and look professional but it was hard,” said Quevedo, who trains in Commerce a city located near East Los Angeles. “It felt fun to be fighting without the head gear and protections. I actually felt a lot lighter.”
Robert Luna, who trains Quevedo and Carlos Molina, said she’s good enough to fight for a world title very soon.
“There’s nobody I really think Liz can’t fight,” Luna said.
Promoter Roy Engelbrecht, who staged the fight card, shook his head.
“She just may be too good,” he said. “Nobody is going to want to fight her.”
Quevedo, who is a good friend of Panchito Bojado, is tall for her weight class and packs a good punch in either fist. Since childhood the brunette has had a yearning for combat.
“I don’t know why. I’ve always wanted to fight,” said Quevedo. “I had to beg my dad to let me fight.”
Now Quevedo hopes she has a long pro career.
“I like fighting,” she said.
Fights on television
Wed. ESPN2, 7 p.m., Marcos Ramirez (24-0) vs. Adailton DeJesus (19-0).
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Freddy Hernandez (21-1) vs. Ben Tackie (29-6-1).
Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Tim Bradley (19-0) vs. Donald Camarena (18-3).
Fri. Telemundo, 11:30 p.m., Alex Hernandez (17-3-1) vs. Marlon Marquez (11-1).
Sat. pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Shannon Briggs (48-4-1) vs. Sultan Ibragimov (20-0-1).
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?