Like a ghost from the recent past Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley showed up at the recent heavy-loaded fight card in Indio.
“I’ve been laying low,” said Bradley. “Just taking it easy.”
The former super lightweight and welterweight world champion Bradley was last seen almost a year ago, April 2016 to be exact, in losing by decision to the great Manny Pacquiao. It was only the second loss in the Palm Spring fighter’s career — both against Pacman.
“I’m just looking for the right fight, man,” said Bradley while standing alongside the boxing ring at the Fantasy Springs Casino during the Golden Boy Promotions fight card telecast by ESPN. “Everything seems to be filled up on HBO.”
For a fighter with only two losses Bradley remains one of the most under-rated prizefighters in the last 20 years. The number of world champions he’s defeated with his semblance of speed, agility and will power is staggering when you look at his record. A total of 12 fighters who acquired world title belts before or after were defeated by Bradley.
Now, at 33, he’s searching for a big test. A few names pop up in the welterweight division and the one with the light shown brightest is Keith “One Time” Thurman who recently defeated Danny “Swift” Garcia by decision and Shawn Porter too.
A Thurman vs. Bradley match intrigues anyone in the fight game.
Thurman has engaged in back-to-back rumbles with elite world champions and hasn’t carried the power like before. But he retains his speed and skills. How would Thurman’s speed and skills match against Bradley’s speed and skill?
Bradley was able to hand Pacquiao a defeat in their first encounter. But the southpaw Filipino superstar was able to make adjustments that gained him consecutive wins in the two rematches. But that was Pacquiao. He’s one of a kind.
Bradley seems interested in Thurman.
“I want one big fight,” says Bradley with a smile at the mention of Thurman. “I want to go out with a bang.”
Mr. Bob Arum can it be done?
ESPN debut of Marlen Esparza
The fight card last Thursday was well-matched except for the women’s fight. Marlen Esparza is no Claressa Shields when it comes to testing herself. Where one former Olympian was challenging the best in the world, the other Olympian was turning down mediocre fights for an even more mediocre challenge. Hopefully Esparza will step up. This is the pros. Nobody likes mismatches.
Golden Boy can’t allow Esparza to pick and choose her opponents any more. It’s not worth it. She has more than 150 amateur fights. She should be able to compete with world champions or contenders. She turns 28 this summer so there’s not a lot of time to slowly develop.
Television viewers were not pleased and quickly tore down the female fight on social media. They derided the opponent Rachel Sazoff but not her courage. She was simply over-matched.
Based on Esparza’s abilities shown last week there are four female fighters in Southern California alone she should fight: Kenia Enriquez, Tania Enriquez, Seniesa Estrada and Amaris Quintana. All are younger than Esparza. Any of those prizefighters would provide an exciting match. Lest we forget, prizefighting is all about entertainment. Not one-sided fights.
Another fighter who was dormant for a year was former bantamweight champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero of Coachella, Calif.
Caballero now fights at super bantamweight and was matched with Mexico’s Jesus Ruiz for the vacant NABF super bantamweight title. From the opening bell the two electrified the crowd with their skillful battle that lasted 10 furious rounds. The crowd was more than pleased and gave the pair of warriors a standing ovation before the decision was rendered.
“That was a great fight,” said Caballero whose adrenaline was still running a half hour later. “He (Ruiz) was a very good fighter and I give him total respect.”
Ruiz, 27, who fights out of Nogales, Mexico, simply has one of those crowd-pleasing styles and the ability to hang with anyone. He did it against bantamweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz in 2015 and against Diego De La Hoya later that same year. He’s one of those fighters that doesn’t have a glowing record but can dish with the best.
Golden Boy matchmaker Roberto Diaz provided fans with a perfect fight but not an easy one for Caballero.
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