FRIDAY AM UPDATE: My man Mr. X, a lock-down source typically, tells me the Bradley side settled up and Bradley vs. Rios is made.
Still some questions though..what will the belt situation be? Will the WBO 147 strap sitting on the Bradley mantle for now be in play? Or will that sanctioning body adhere to their regs, and have No. 1 contender Sadam Ali not be shoved aside for a “more marquee” fight?
I asked the WBO bigwigs: “Nothing confirmed yet, we will keep you posted,” I was told.
So…we wait. We’re used to that. Belts are sometimes seen as unimportant, but mostly still a potent symbol and marketing tool. So it does matter. Often not to hardcore fans, who just want the best fighting the best but anyway…
So we told you this yesterday…
((The mill is grinding, once again. We’re hearing that Tim Bradley is going to tangle with Brandon Rios, Nov. 7, in Los Angeles. That scrap, featuring members of the Top Rank crew, would be much anticipated, being that Bradley impressed mightily in his last tangl;e and Rios, it seems, is dialed into training, doing 5 AM road-work, and but of course has a personality which makes him must see…Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, told me Tuesday night he hadn’t heard that, but hadn’t been in contact with Rios manager Cameron Dunkin in a few weeks, so he was out of that loop. “I’ve been very busy training Mikey (Garcia, his brother) and a young fighter who is fighting in LA Friday,” he told me.))
Today, Garcia took to Twitter and said it’s a go, November 7, Bradley vs. Rios. (Then the Tweet got yanked…) No word yet from Team Bradley or the Top Rank gang…but if we proceed as though Garcia is on target then, we wonder, where does that leave WBO No. 1 rated 147er Sadam Ali?
Bradley has that crown, but Ali is the mandatory challenger.
He’s told us before, he wants a title crack. Money is not THE object, he and his team don’t want step aside money so a Rios could slide into his spot, and get a crack at the crown.
I checked in with David Ali, Sadam’s dad, for an update. The Brooklyner, who’s kid is signed to Golden Boy, told me he’s waiting for the WBO to rule; will they go by their regs, or come up with some sort of workaround, or what?
He’s waiting…but reiterating, Sadam does “not want to step aside, everyone has to know that!”
He has been around the boxing business to know rules and regs can sometimes be malleable, so he is ready for any ruling…but his kid wants that title crack and won’t take a pile of cash to change his mind.