Don’t try to convince Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley that the WBC title isn’t rightfully his, not while he has an undefeated record to say otherwise.
“Respectfully, it should be mine,” said Bradley at his training camp. “I still know that I won it.”
Palms Springs desert fighter Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) faces Devon Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs), the very man who took hold of that WBC title and after all of the shouts and bravado both will finally see who deserves that title and claim as the top junior welterweight in the world on Saturday Jan. 29, in Detroit. It will be televised on HBO.
“This boy’s in trouble,” Bradley says.
It all began a few years ago as Bradley began climbing up the ladder of recognition with surprising and convincing wins. On May 10, 2008, Bradley traveled to Nottingham, England to face then WBC champion Junior “The Hitter” Witter. Many feared his speed and power, but on that day the American fighter knocked the champion down and out-pointed him over 12 rounds to take the title.
It was Bradley’s first world title.
Then WBO titleholder Kendall Holt challenged Bradley who was not the favorite in that fight either. Though the Southern Californian was knocked down on April 4, 2009, he overwhelmed the New Jersey boxer and won by unanimous decision. Bradley now had the WBO and WBC titles.
Then trouble arrived with a capital T. The WBC ruling committee said that if Bradley fought the more experienced Nate Campbell instead of the lesser known Alexander, he would be stripped of the WBC title. Bradley opted to fight the dangerous Campbell in a more lucrative and recognizable match. That fight August 1, 2009 fight ended in a technical knockout, but was later changed to a no contest when the California State Athletic Commission ruled a bad cut was caused by a head butt and not a punch. So Bradley not only was stripped of the WBC title, he did not gain a win over Campbell.
It pained Bradley but he moved on.
Next for Bradley was then undefeated Lamont Peterson on December 12, 2009. After 12 rounds the Palm Springs speedster won by unanimous decision to keep the WBO title. That win was followed by another convincing win over undefeated welterweight Argentine slugger Carlos Abregu this past July.
Now comes Alexander, yet another undefeated fighter looking to beat Bradley who is considered by many publications one of the top boxers in the world pound for pound.
“I used to see Tim Bradley on Showbox (television). He looked like he was ahead of the game and ahead of me,” said Alexander during a conference call. “I had to catch up.”
Catch up he did with some impressive wins over England’s Witter and Colombia’s Juan Urango. Then came the squeaker win over Russia’s Andriy Kotelnik last August. Alexander doesn’t deny that fight was difficult and credits his trainer Kevin Cunningham for advising him to a win.
“In the Kotelnik fight he (Cunningham) told me to just box and I would get the victory and that’s just what I did,” Alexander says.
Bradley has the WBO title and Alexander the WBC title. The Palm Springs boxer believes the WBC title is rightfully his.
“I still know that I won it,” Bradley says with frightful earnestness. “That boy’s in serious trouble.”
Bradley wants his title back.
On the Bradley-Alexander under card, former two-time lightweight world champion Julio Diaz (37-6, 26 KOs) fights Mexico’s Pavel Miranda (16-6-1, 8 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout.
Diaz won a nationally televised match against dangerous Herman Ngoudjo last May but has been unable to obtain another bout after that win. The Indio-based fighter thinks it may have scared off opponents.
“Opportunities started slipping away from me,” said Diaz who trains in the same gym as Bradley in Indio. “A win gets me in the junior welterweight lineup. I want to fight a few more then fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. I think he’s over-rated.”
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 7 p.m., Chris Arreola (29-2) vs. Joey Abell (27-4).
Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Charles Huerta (16-1) vs. Raul Hirales (11-0-1).
Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Timothy Bradley (26-0) vs. Devon Alexander (21-0).
Sat. Fox Sports, 8 p.m., Julio Cesar Chavez (41-0-1) vs. Billy Lyell (22-8).
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV