Every young professional boxer, including Indio’s Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, dreams of performing under the bright lights and in front of a television audience.
Still undefeated, Bradley’s ultimate dream of national exposure has one more roadblock and his name is Alfonso Sanchez (20-5-1, 18 KOs) of Mexico who he faces on Monday Oct. 16. The fight takes place at the Ontario Doubletree Hotel.
“I feel it’s a good test. I’m ready to step up in the competition and start making some money. Ontario and Corona (cities located 60 miles east of Los Angeles) have been great but I’m ready to go out and fight some good contenders out there,” says Bradley (15-0, 9 KOs).
Facing Bradley is Sanchez, a hard-hitting Mexican fighter who’s traded punches with some of the best in the game including the much-feared welterweight contender Paul Williams. Of the 26 pro fights on his resume, Sanchez has 20 wins. Eighteen of those wins have come by knockout.
“Sure Sanchez has a lot of experience,” said Joel Diaz, who trains Bradley and is a former prizefighter. “But with Bradley’s skill level, he should beat him. He only has to watch out for the big punch.”
It’s been a busy year for Bradley who is fighting for the sixth time in 2006. The skill level of his opponents has risen dramatically and the boxing community is noticing.
“I get calls for Timothy to fight in other states but we don’t want him to go as an opponent in somebody’s hometown,” said Alex Camponovo, the matchmaker for Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Right now we’d love to fight a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or someone with a big name.”
Though not tall for a junior welterweight or welterweight at 5-6 in height, Bradley’s strength and quickness have vaulted him to number 18 as a junior welterweight according to the WBC. Right behind Demetrius Hopkins and Paul Malignaggi.
“He can fight like a Floyd Mayweather Jr. but he knows that people don’t want to see running and moving. So he gives them action too,” said Diaz who is the older brother of Antonio and Julio Diaz. “Tim tells me he’s a Blaxican, a black fighter who fights like a Mexican.”
Bradley spars often with Antonio Diaz, who held the IBA junior welterweight title and beat many great fighters like Mickey Ward, Ivan Robinson and Cory Spinks.
“My brother Antonio (Diaz) has a lot of experience and gives Tim (Bradley) a good workout,” says Diaz. “Tim’s ready to fight at a top level.”
As an amateur Bradley had more than 300 fights and as a pro he’s sparred with world champions like IBF lightweight Julio Diaz and WBO junior lightweight Joan Guzman.
“That guy is something,” said Bradley of Guzman. “But he don’t want to spar with me no more.”
Most feel Bradley showed his true potential a year ago when he faced Brazil’s Marcos Rocha, a tall and fast boxer with murderous punching power. Though his record showed one fight with one loss, boxing insiders said Rocha actually had eight wins and no losses when Bradley met him in a downtown L.A. boxing ring. Rocha was five inches taller.
“There was no way Tim could box Rocha from the outside, so he went inside,” said Diaz, who prepared Bradley for that fight. “That day proved to everyone how good he is.”
Bradley stopped Rocha by technical knockout. It’s his biggest victory to date. Among his victims have been Eli Addison (who was undefeated when they met), Francisco Rincon and Yoani Cervantes.
On Monday, Sanchez poses a different scenario with his veteran experience and one-punch stopping power. One other factor: he’s a true junior middleweight coming down to welterweight to meet Bradley.
“I think this is a great test. I know the guy hits hard but I don’t think this guy can outbox me. I think he’s going to come in and think he can bully me. I’m feeling pretty strong,” Bradley said.
Camponovo says Thompson Promotions has plans to grab television exposure for Bradley in early 2007.
“There’s no doubt he’s ready,” says Camponovo. “Next year should be a big year for Timothy once he passes through Sanchez.”
It’s a dangerous fight for Bradley who pines for a fight on television.
“One loss and they’ll probably take me out of the rankings. They’ll drop me to number 40 if I lose,” Bradley said. “It’s a dangerous fight but I’m ready for the next level and to be tested. People haven’t really seen what I can do yet.”
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