BEVERLY HILLS-Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley brought the thunder and rain to the luxurious greenery surrounding the historic and still majestic Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.
Top Rank recently signed Bradley and held a small party for the Palms Springs prizefighter to introduce him officially to a few journalists from Southern California on Wednesday.
Now after several months of contractual limbo, Bradley is free to fight and will meet former world champion Joel Casamayor on Nov. 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It’s the semi-main event to Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III.
“I’m just happy to be on the other side,” said Bradley, who attended the lunch party along with his wife Monica and two-month-old Jada. “My job is to fight now.”
Bob Arum said Bradley’s former contract with Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions was sent to his attorneys O’Melveny & Myers who in turn said that contract was over.
“We would never have signed him unless it was legal to do so,” said Arum.
Bradley looked relaxed and content along with his family by his side in the back of the historic Polo Lounge.
“It was very stressful at times,” Bradley said about waiting. “I had to surround myself with positive people. My wife Monica told me not to worry.”
A proposal to fight WBA titleholder Amir Khan was spurned by Bradley so that he could move on, but the uproar from the boxing community and Team Khan was loud. Bradley held his ground.
“I knew sooner or later the ball was going to get rolling,” said Bradley.
Arum said he realized Bradley’s abilities after his fighters Kendall Holt and Lamont Peterson fell to the desert fighter.
“He beat the s—t out of Peterson and he’s a hell of a fighter,” said Arum, adding that Khan is set to fight Peterson in a few months.
When Bradley fights in Las Vegas it will be his debut in the desert city that has now become the boxing capital of the world.
“You got a star like Tim Bradley and he’s never fought in L.A., Las Vegas or New
York,” said Arum sarcastically. “Instead he’s put in a decrepit barn in Detroit?”
Bradley’s wife Monica Bradley said that her husband is a champion who is not even recognized in his own town.
“He walks in his town and people don’t know who he is,” said Mrs. Bradley.
Bradley is considered one of the top fighters in the world pound for pound and has won the WBC and WBO world titles yet is still largely unknown in the sports world.
“I don’t feel like a champion,” said Bradley who remains undefeated.
Todd DuBoef , Top Rank’s president, said that Bradley is a promoter’s dream not just for his fighting abilities, but his willingness to meet people.
“His fighting speaks for itself,” said DuBoef. “Tim just has this personality and accessibility.”
Arum said that Bradley will be fighting southpaw Joel Casamayor so that he can prepare for another southpaw in the near future. Though he didn’t blatantly say Manny Pacquiao, it was probably the fighter that could fight Bradley in the very near future.
Bradley is concentrating solely on Casamayor.
“It’s a risky business,” Bradley said.
Yes it is.