Timothy Bradley has crept, like a cat eyeing a narcoleptic mouse, into peoples pound for pound rankings. Top 20, top 15, top 10. Until he gets that career defining gig, however, hell likely stay parked at around No. 10.

That might take awhile, because the 26-year-old hitter out of Palm Springs keeps getting better and better. Promoter Gary Shaw and manager Cameron Dunkin have thrown their guys hat into the ring for the big money bonanza fights (Mayweather, Pacquiao), but the hat keeps getting tossed back. For good reason, really; why should the big boys risk their standing against the ultra busy, teflon-chinned Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs; coming off Dec. 12 UD12 against still-a-little-green Lamont Peterson), a guy whose stamina well is always topped off?

A couple weeks back, Bradley did indeed get someone to sign on to fight him. Luis Carlos Abregu, a 29-0 27-year-old from Argentina with a skillfully constructed eye-popping record, good pop, and a not-too-great chance at beating Bradley.

Hey, stranger things have happened. But Id lay odds that Sarah Palin turns in her wingnut card, and signs on to do a show on MSNBC before I see Abregu, a straightforward but not nearly as athletic pugilist as Bradley getting the better of the Californian on July 17 (HBO will televise).

Abgreu comes off a Feb. 6 UD10 win against Richard Gutierrez, a Colombian with, again, a skillfully constructed impressive record who has come up short in every step-up bout hes taken. His best win isnt easy to pinpoint, its probably the Gutierrez victory, but he hasnt met anyone within sniffing distance of Bradleys solidity.

Here is Bradleys scouting report on Abregu: He’s a basic fighter, big right in, big right uppercut. I know what he likes to do. He likes to set up as much as off his jab, and that lower left hook he likes to throw, especially for the big right hand. Every now and then he likes to throw a straight right hand to the body. He doesn’t move a lot. His defense is not all that great. He’s a good fighter, he’s dangerous because he can punch. He’s very dangerous because of his punch and he’s very unorthodox. He’s very tall, got long arms, and that’s what makes him dangerous.

Well said, Mr Bradley, better than we could do!

For Bradley, hes eager to get back to business after 28-1 Argentine Marcos Maidana, the interim WBA 140 pound titlist, cited back problems and pulled out a scheduled tangle, twice. (He did so in April for a June 19 date, and then again in early May for a July 17 date. Then Maidana admitted he has managerial and promotional woes, and accused Golden Boy of funny business with his contract, which made him put off a ring return.) This bout will be Bradleys third at 147. He fought at welter in 2005 and 2006, but this move makes infinite sense for the WBO 140 pound champ. It widens his options immensely.

I can’t wait to see what I can do at 147 pounds, Bradley said on a recent conference call. I’ve been looking at Carlos Abregu. He looks like a strong fighter, a basic fighter. Let’s get it on. Let’s get it on, baby. I’m excited. I’m very happy.

He chatted about the move northward.

I’ve been doing a little bit more strength training, he explained. You know me, I don’t do a whole lot of strength training when I go down at 140, but I’ve been doing a little bit more strength training a couple of days during the week to keep my strength up there. I don’t want the big guy to try to bully me around in there. I want to be just as strong as he is, if not stronger. It’s basically the same. I train hard for every single fight like it’s my last fight. I’m ready to show the world, man, what I can do at 147 pounds. I like my opponents bigger. I like to definitely get inside of them. I’m a lot quicker than they are. They leave their hands down a lot – a lot longer than I do, and maybe I will make them pay.

You get the sense that Bradley is a gym rat who will never let the guard down, overlook a guy, come in fat and underamped. Sounds like hes not looking past Abregu.

I know Abregu is a big puncher, he said. But he can’t hit what’s not there. So he’s going to have a hard night in there with me. I’m quick. I’ve got a lot of footwork. I’m going to give him a lot of angles. He’s going to see a big difference from the opponent that he is used to fighting and me. He’ll see a big difference.

So, unless we get a shocker of an upset, and I reiterate, I think well see palin subbing in for Olbermann before Abregu downs Bradley, whats next for Bradley after July 17?

Promoter Shaw weighed in. If he beats Carlos Abregu we move up to 147 if there’s a fight there with Pacquiao or Mayweather, Shaw said. And if not, there is Devon Alexander, who does nothing but talk about Timmy Bradley from morning until when he goes to sleep with his trainer.

Ouch. Slam. Thats Kevin Cunningham, for the record, and TSS assumes no culpability for Shaws contention, LOL. The promoter is still a tad miffed about the Maidana debacle, for the record. I was very angry at both Maidana, his manager and Golden Boy, Shaw said. Because to tell us and HBO that he’s injured, two times, and make Timmy sit on the sideline is just plain wrong. And then he lied and he should be punished for it.

Bradley might not stop at 147, either. He said on the call that hes about 155 pounds this week, and Shaws wheels started spinning when he heard that.

Timmy, I didn’t know you were that high, maybe we’ll go to 154 next. I’ll call Cameron, you know, after this call, he said.

Hey, we can go there too, said the gamer Bradley, ready and willing to take on anyone, anytime. Let’s go up 154 and fight Cotto, right? Let’s go fight Paul Williams. Spiderman. We call him the Spiderman, with his freaking monkey arms, longer arms, man.

Guess what..hed do just fine against Miguel, and Williams too.

Anyone else on Bradleys wish list? I want to fight Devon, the IBF champion, the boxer said. I want to fight Maidana because we definitely need to see who’s the best at 140. Even though they’ve got me number one at 140, I’ll be only the best at 140 here. So until that happens then we can say that I am absolutely the champion at 140. We’ve been trying to get at WBA champ Amir Khan for awhile now. I know Mr. Shaw told me that he tried to get in contact with Khan’s people before he went over to Golden Boy. He was negotiating with them. And then the phone went dead. You know what I mean?

Shaw offered a resolution, of sorts, to break the logjam at 140. I was up at HBO this week, unbeknownst to anybody, he said. I offered to do a 140-pound tournament with Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander, Amir Khan, and if Marquez beats Diaz, he could be in the tournament as well. I suggested that we have a press conference and we pull names out of a bottle. If we pulled Devon Alexander, then we fight Devon. If we pull Amir Khan, then we fight Amir Khan or Marquez or any other 140-pound that they want to put in there. Then Golden Boy said no.

Shaw delved a bit further into why her perceives there is a logjam. I know I have the number one fighter in the world at 140 pounds, and I know that Top Rank right now, like Golden Boy, is trying to do all their fights in-house, Shaw said. Well, eventually the public and the writers hopefully will force their fighters out of their in-house mentality to fight the best in the world. And what’s hurting our sport is that the greatest fighters in the world are not fighting the greatest fighters in the world.

So, TSS U, why dont you weigh in. Leave a comment. We know all the suits read TSS. What fight or fights do you want to see?

Are in-house fights hurting the sport, or is it a good thing that, say, Top Rank throws two of their guys at each other, whereas in the past you might not see that fight, for fear of giving one of their guys an L against a teammate? Fire away!