It?s a new feeling for Timothy ?Desert Storm? Bradley and for Alfredo ?Perro? Angulo to be considered TV friendly boxers who attract boxing crazy fans.
?It?s great man,? said Bradley. ?Gives me a greater opportunity to show fans what I do.?
The lightning quick Bradley is moving up a weight division to prove he can deal with not just bigger guys, but undefeated welterweights that can bang.
Mexicali?s Angulo is another who has slowly nurtured a tidal wave of supporters with a relentless seek-and-destroy style that has piqued the interest of fans world wide.
Bradley and Angulo will both seek to prove on Saturday at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif. why HBO is showing their fights. This heavy duty fight card is not about titles it?s all about action.
Bradley, the newest representative of the pound for pound club, has steamrolled through competition from his very first pro fight. Matched against tough Mexican fighters, taller southpaw sluggers from Brazil and the east coast with speed and now facing a South American welterweight contender, the speedster Bradley has emerged as a definite threat to challenge either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.
That?s why he?s fighting Carlos Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs).
Argentina has a number of knockout specialists. Abregu is just one of many but he?s an undefeated welterweight who?s been seen on television. People know what he can do and that?s part of the intrigue for this fight.
?I know all about that right hand,? said Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs), who was also scheduled to fight another Argentine Marcos Maidana. That fighter wisely pulled out.
The well-spoken Bradley realizes that to fight a Pacman or Mayweather he needs to be identifiable to boxing fans. He needs to be noticed. It?s all about his value as a prizefighter, not just his skill set.
?I?d love to fight those guys,? said Bradley, adding that some fans clamor for him to fight Devon Alexander who captured the vacant WBC title that Bradley vacated to fight undefeated Lamont Peterson; a fighter who was favored to beat Bradley. ?Fans don?t understand you don?t fight for just pride. It?s a business.?
The business of setting up his career against the elite boxing class is Bradley?s goal and his eye is focused on it like an archer zeroing in for the bulls eye. Being placed on the top 12 pound for pound lists motivates him.
?I love it,? says Bradley who despite suffering a size disadvantage against every opponent manages to win. ?I?ve been fighting a long time against some great fighters. It?s nice to gain some recognition as one of the best pound for pound.?
Mexico?s Angulo understands the business portion too. It was just three years ago that the rugged junior middleweight was having a rough time gaining recognition. Though he often served as a sparring partner for Antonio Margarito he was seldom seen. Then came a spot on a televised fight card when a fourth round knockout suddenly put him on the national spotlight.
The dog collar around his neck before and after the fight didn?t hurt either.
?Joel Julio was a very good fighter who moved a lot,? said Angulo, who fought for Mexico?s national team as an amateur boxer. ?I don?t expect anyone to stand in front of me. If they do, that?s better for me.?
Angulo?s only loss came to former world champion Kermit Cintron who used movement and angles to win a decision. The Mexican fighter says he was not fit to fight that night but did not want to cost the promoter money. So he fought and loss despite suffering from a stomach flu virus that drained him of fluids and food.
?That?s over, I?m not thinking of that,? Angulo says.
In the last three fights each opponent Angulo has faced has attempted to emulate Cintron?s move and groove style to beat the hard-charging Mexican. Angulo shrugs at the supposed recipe to beat him.
?Whoever they put in front of whatever style they use I?ll cope with it,? says Angulo.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Zab Judah (38-6, 26 KOs) vs. Jose Santa Cruz (28-4).
Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Fernando Guerrero (18-0) vs. Ishe Smith (21-4).
Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Carlos Velasquez (12-0) vs. Eduardo Arcos (15-1).
Sat. pay-per-view, 5 p.m., David Tua (51-3-1) vs. Monte Barrett (34-9).
Sat. Fox Espanol, 8:30 p.m., Fernando Montiel (41-2-2) vs. Rafael Concepcion (14-4-1).