Budding junior welterweight boxing star Timothy Ray Bradley, a compact muscular fighter with speed, faces another tough opponent in veteran Martin Ramirez on Friday at the Omega Products International.
It won’t be long before people in the Inland area will say they once saw Bradley as a youngster starting out in Ontario and Corona where he’s drawn sellout crowds since lacing up the gloves for Thompson Promotions.
“It’s getting harder and harder to find opponents for him,” said Alex Camponovo, the matchmaker for Thompson Promotions.
Bradley stepped away from a successful amateur career that included winning several national titles. But the lure of making money as a professional was too much.
“Now this is all I do, just box and concentrate on boxing,” says Bradley (14-0, 8 KOs).
Based in Indio, the undefeated Bradley is trained by Joel Julio who also trains the former lightweight titleholder Julio “Kidd” Diaz and several other talented fighters in the desert area.
But it’s Bradley who is called “Desert Storm” with his whirling dervish style of fighting that mixes a blend of speed, power, body punches and movement that have bedeviled opponents.
“It’s funny because when we spar he fights differently,” said Dominic Salcido, a stablemate and frequent sparring partner for Bradley. “In a real fight he attacks.”
On first glance many might assume Bradley fights like an attack dog with no strategy.
Not so, says Bradley.
“I tape every junior welterweight fight I see on TV,” Bradley said. “I like to watch (Jose Luis) Castillo, Julio Cesar Chavez, Mike Tyson videos…I think Chavez was one of the best inside fighters I’ve ever seen. He had great defense.”
Most opponents expect Bradley, who is African American, to dance and move or avoid contact at all cost. Instead they’re met with a barrage of punches that sound like mini sonic booms when they connect.
Now opponents everywhere have heard of Bradley. He was even mentioned on ESPN by a boxing commentator.
“My name is getting out there slowly but surely,” he says.
The Indio prizefighter knows he cannot slip up. He has a lot more to do.
“I just have to continue on my winning streak and hopefully have a world championship in a couple of years,” said Bradley. “I live and breathe boxing. I’m a student of the game.”
Also on the fight card will be lightweight contender Josesito Lopez. His opponent is Costa Rica’s Anthony Martinez.
For tickets and information call (714) 935-0900.
Pechanga fight card
Former cruiserweight world titleholder Vassiliy Jirov headlines the fight card at the Pechanga Resort and Casino on Friday.
A co-main event featuring middleweight contenders Sam Soliman of Australia and California’s Enrique Ornelas was canceled last week.
“I really wanted that fight,” said Ornelas who is training in Las Vegas in hopes of landing on another fight card. At press time it was announced that Ornelas would still be on the card and would be fighting Raul Munoz.
Jirov, who is fighting at heavyweight, hopes to convince American audiences that he has the tools to beat the big boys. In his last attempt, that took place at Pechanga, he was leading on all judge’s scorecards when a left hand by Michael Moorer abruptly ended the fight in the ninth round of a scheduled 12-round contest in 2004. Jirov faces James Northey, a Pennsylvania heavyweight with only one loss in 12 pro fights.
Damian “Bolo” Wills, a fast-rising California heavyweight, is scheduled to be the opening fight for television on Friday. The undefeated Wills meets a real tough opponent in Cissy Salif, a 6-8 knockout puncher out of Africa. It’s going to be a great fight. Don’t miss it.
A portion of the fight card will be televised by ESPN. For tickets and information call (877) 711-2946.
Undefeated Paul Williams meets former junior welterweight world titleholder Sharmba Mitchell, a short but crafty southpaw. In fact it’s a Mutt and Jeff battle of southpaws with Williams possessing a six-inch height advantage over the swift Mitchell. The fight will be aired on HBO on Saturday. Williams is the number one ranked welterweight in the world.
HBO announced it will show a tape of the Oleg Maskaev knockout win over Hasim Rahman that took place last Saturday. It will be shown on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Also on the same show will be the other fast-rising California heavyweight Chris Arreola, who is undefeated and will probably be matched against Wills within the year. According to sources, Arreola will be featured in an HBO short. He was also mentioned recently in a Sports Illustrated article about former titleholder Rahman.
Sons of legends
The sons of Mexican legends Julio Cesar Chavez, Pipino Cuevas and Jorge Paez will be on the same fight card on Saturday. It will be aired on Showtime pay-per-view television at 6 p.m. The opponents for the three young versions of their fathers have not been set.
So far all of the sons are undefeated. Paez has met with the stiffest competition but Chavez has shown some defensive skills for a fighter who only had one amateur bout.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 5 p.m., Vassiliy Jirov (36-3-1) vs. James Northey (11-1).
Fri. Fox Sports Net, 8 p.m., Evander Holyfield (38-8-2) vs. Jeremy Bates (21-11-1).
Fri. Telefutura, 9 p.m., Giovanni Segura (14-0-1) vs. Gerardo Verde (4-3).
Sat. Showtime pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (26-0-1) vs. Jermaine White (14-1).
Sat. HBO, 7:05 p.m., Paul Williams (30-0) vs. Sharmba Mitchell (57-5).