It's been a busy week-plus for Tim Bradley, and not in a good way. On July 20, word leaked that he's being sued by his promoters, Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson, who are miffed the fighter didn't take a fight with Amir Khan, which they had set up. They lost a cut from that bout, which instead went to Zab Judah. Today, Dan Rafael reports, Bradley's WBC junior welterweight title was taken from him from that sanctioning body. Allegedly, they did this because Bradley has been inactive. That doesn't on surface make all that much sense, because he last fought six months ago–he beat Devon Alexander, and added Alexander's WBC belt to go with his WBO 140 pound strap–and name fighters frequently fight just twice a year. And while the WBC can, if they wish, cite something or other in their rule book, which is routinely subject to interpretation and manipulation, we all know that quite likely some other reasoning beyond “doing the right thing” is behind this move.
With the word that 34-year-old Erik Morales (51-2), the Mexican legend, will meet 34 year-old Jorge Barrios (50-4-1)–who basically defines “inactive” by the way, since he last fought in October 2010, against journeyman Wilson Alcorro–we'll take the liberty of reading in between the lines here. The hope in some corners is that Morales beats Barrios, which could happen, as he looked surprisingly decent in losing to Marcos Maidana in April after taking 2008 and 2009 off during a spell of “retirement.” Then he could act as a solid “name” foe for Amir Khan, though we do wonder if fans will buy into that bout as a legit test for the WBA, IBF 140 pound champ Khan, who would seem to have too much in every department for a guy who turns 35 in September.
And Barrios is a Golden Boy fighter, so if he were to win, it'd be easy to make a Barrios-Khan fight, as Khan works under the Golden Boy banner. He is not to my knowledge in anyone's top 20 at 140, for the record, so I am eager to hear the reasoning and justification for him getting this title crack. He did hold the WBO super feather crown for a spell in 2005-2006 but did nothing to elevate him to a place where he is “owed” this honor.
In a game where you need a daily dose of Head and Shoulders to combat the head scratchers that pop up, how Barrios, who fought at 130 as of Sept. 2008, and has fought just three times since, against sub-marquee names, got this gig is a biggie.
This bout, if it doesn't fall apart under the heat of media and fan critiques, is due to unfold on Sept. 17, on the Mayweather-Victor Ortiz undercard in Vegas. I typically steer clear of sanctioning body silliness; I see it sort of like aggressive panhandlers on the subway. I figure if I ignore 'em, they'll go away. Fans know who is the real deal, who should be fighting who, and don't go by who is wearing what belt to help inform them. So, if the fans speak out, and make it clear who they want to see fight in this weight class, perhaps the panhandler will find another car to annoy.
LOL, I won't bet on it…