Edner Cherry, Timothy Bradley & More

BY David A. Avila ON December 16, 2009
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After fighting monster after monster Florida’s Edner Cherry gets just a slightly reasonable task today when he faces Jovann Jones (9-7, 4 KOs) in a lightweight contest at Commerce Casino near East L.A.

Jones is tough but in Cherry's last fight he fought 12 rounds with Timothy Bradley and before that with Jose Armando Santa Cruz and two fights with Wes Ferguson. Throw in Paulie Malignaggi and you can see Cherry’s accustomed to fighting monsters.

“Yes sir, I get kind of a rest but not really,” said Cherry (24-6-2, 12 KOs) who weighed in at 134 pounds for his fight at Commerce Casino. “It’s been a little while since I fought.”

Cherry has changed trainers and location as he moved his camp from Tampa Bay to Winterhaven. Now he’s ready to return to the monster’s ball after a year off following his battle with Bradley.

“I’m looking to fight at 130 or 135,” says Cherry who has fought two junior welterweight world champions and lost by decision. “Everything’s been good.”

Also on the Commerce fight card will be Leo Santa Cruz who meets Juan Jose Beltran; Cristian Favela meets Sharif Bogere; Fedor Chudinov fights Cesar Ibarra; Dmitry Chudinov tangles with Falvio Cardoza; and two other fights are scheduled. The doors open at 7 p.m. For tickets and information (323) 721-2100.

Desert Storm

Speaking of Timothy Bradley, his decisive win over Lamont Peterson proves he is the best junior welterweight in the world. No, I don’t consider Manny Pacquiao a junior welterweight any longer. He left the division when he clobbered Miguel Cotto last month. Bradley is all alone now at 140 pounds. But there are a lot of very good junior welterweights out there like bullets in a revolver. They’re all dangerous.

“Bradley keeps beating everybody they put in front of him,” says Gary Shaw, who along with Thompson Boxing Promotions co-promotes Bradley. “He deserves recognition.”

The junior welterweight division is one of the most talent loaded divisions in pro boxing and boasts more than a dozen fighters with varying styles that include speed defensive experts like Paul Malignaggi who defeated Juan Diaz on the same day that Bradley beat Peterson.

Along with Malignaggi are others like current titleholders such as WBC belt holder Devon Alexander of St. Louis, IBF titleholder Juan Urango of Colombia, and the WBA’s Amir Khan of England. Those are just the guys with the belts. More than a half dozen fighters without world titles are equally if not more dangerous such as Ventura’s Victor Ortiz, former world champ Ricky “Hitman” Hatton of England, Argentina’s Marcos Maidana, Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, Junior Witter and Juan Diaz.

Not to be forgotten is Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez who recently fought unsuccessfully Floyd Mayweather in a welterweight bout. Marquez is really a lightweight but could possibly fight at 140.

After Malignaggi defeated Diaz in Chicago this past Saturday he told HBO that he seeks a fight against the boxing master Marquez who last fought and lost a decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Bradley is the man, however, after thoroughly and decisively proving his boxing superiority without knocking out his last four opponents. Winning by decision has proven to lead to repeated controversy as fans often disagree with judge’s opinions. But not when Bradley fights. He has the ability to prove to fans, judges and opponents that he’s the winner every time he fights.

That’s a remarkable achievement.

Who should Bradley fight next?

The big money fight would be against Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao but that’s not going to transpire. The Filipino superstar already has his agenda set for the entire year and Bradley is not a part of it. Others exist that could help the Palm Springs pugilist gain further fame and fortune.

Here’s a short list for Bradley:

Amir Khan (22-1, 16 KOs) – The speedy power punching Khan has a four inch height advantage and equal speed to Bradley. A big advantage Khan possesses is one-punch knockout power with either hand. One disadvantage is his defense and chin. He can’t take a punch like Bradley. It could be a super fight that would probably take place in England.

Victor Ortiz (25-2-1, 20 KOs) – Yet another speedy power punching junior welterweight but Ortiz is a southpaw who cracks with both hands. He recently defeated Bradley’s friend and stable mate Antonio Diaz. This fight has been visualized for the past three years by Southern California fight fans. It would be a firecracker of a fight.

Marcos Maidana (27-1, 26 KOs) – This past June in L.A. the Argentine out blasted Ortiz in a firefight at Staples Center. It would be interesting to see if Bradley’s speed and guile could prevail against the always pressing Maidana. The fight could take place in Los Angeles. Fans would definitely come to this event.

Paul Malignaggi (27-3, 5 KOs) – Brooklyn’s Malignaggi beat Juan Diaz in a rematch this past Saturday to even their record against each other. The colorful and chatty Malignaggi has quick feet, quick hands and a quick way with the word. He’s been eyeing Bradley for years and is always up for a challenge. It would definitely be the Italian New Yorker’s biggest challenge.

“I need a challenge, man,” said Bradley about preferring other titleholders and dangerous opponents. “Small fights don’t do it for me. I need big fights. I need a challenge.”

Boxing Chatter

Chika Nakamura (8-0) fights veteran Gloria Ramirez on Thursday Dec. 17, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel. Also on the Roy Englebrecht Productions fight card is Daniel Perez (8-6) vs. Billy Bailey (9-5). For information (949) 760-3131.

Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez meets ex-NFL star Michael Westbrook in a mixed martial arts heavyweight clash promoted by King Of The Cage at the San Manuel Casino on Thursday Dec. 17. Proceeds go to City of Hope for cancer research. For more information (800) 359-2464.

Danny Valdivia, a long time ring announcer in Southern California, has died. Valdivia, 75, had previous heart problems but was a regular at local fight shows. He emceed the Irvine Marriott fight card this past October and worked both boxing and mixed martial arts cards from California to Texas. Valdivia lived in Venice, Ca.

WBC and WBO middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs) defends his titles against Southern California’s Miguel Espino (20-2-1) on Saturday Dec. 19, at his hometown Youngstown, Ohio. The fight is being televised on pay-per-view television. Also shown will be Humberto Soto ( 49-7-2, 32 KOs) facing former world champion Jesus Chavez (44-6, 30 KOs). Vanes Martirosyan (25-0) fights Willie Lee (17-5) for the NABF junior middleweight title.

Manny Pacquiao has agreed to $25 million to fight Floyd Mayweather but the fight has not been finalized said Top Rank’s Bob Arum. “We still don’t have a site,” Arum said angrily. A proposal to place the fight in the Dallas Cowboy Stadium was not entertained by Golden Boy Promotions, which is promoting Mayweather. Las Vegas is one of the other main alternatives.

In UFC 107 it was BJ Penn beating Diego Sanchez by fifth round TKO. Penn continued his undefeated string as a lightweight. All of his losses have come at heavier weights. Sanchez also suffered his first loss as a lightweight.

Edwin Valero (25-0, 25 KOs) defends his WBC lightweight title against Mexico’s Hector Velazquez (51-13-2, 35 KOs) in Venezuela on Saturday Dec. 19. The fight will not be televised. Valero seeks a match with Juan Manuel Marquez if he wins.

Fights on television

Sat. pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Kelly Pavlik (35-1) vs. Miguel Espino (20-2-1); Humberto Soto (49-7-2) vs. Jesus Chavez (44-6); Vanes Martirosyan (25-0) vs. Willie Lee (17-5).

Sat. Televisa, 9 p.m., Cristobal Cruz (39-11-1) vs. Ricardo Castillo (38-7).

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