A couple of pound for pound list champions named Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero have more than a passing interest on this week’s coming junior welterweight showdown.
Both Bradley and Guerrero were options for WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir “King” Khan (25-1, 17 KOs), who is now fighting IBF titleholder Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) on Saturday, July 23. The junior welterweight unification bout takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It will be televised on HBO.
It was Bradley who was set to meet Khan but contractual matters that cannot be discussed scuttled that fight. Then Guerrero’s name was offered to the British speedster but Team Khan passed on the Ghost.
It will be Judah.
Bradley expects to go to court to fight for other matters with co-promoters Thompson Boxing Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions. He still wants to fight Khan but business must take precedence.
The Palm Springs prizefighter holds both the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles and gave us his perspective on the Judah-Khan clash.
“It won’t be easy. Zab (Judah) is a really good southpaw,” says Bradley. “But he has to hunt and set Khan up for a punch.”
The speedy desert fighter says that Khan has the advantages of youth, speed and one of the world’s best boxing trainers guiding him. And Judah has a wealth of experience that includes world titles as a junior welterweight and welterweight. Plus, he has one of the all time great former boxers in Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker guiding him.
Still, Bradley believes that Khan has the right antidote with his trainer Roach.
“If he listens to Freddie (Roach), and does not get ahead of himself, Khan should win,” said Bradley. “But he has to be careful because Judah is still dangerous and has a punch.”
From Guerrero’s training quarters in Big Bear, in preparation for his move up to the junior welterweight division to tangle with Argentina’s Marcos Maidana on August 27 in San Jose, he pondered the outcome of Khan-Judah.
After much thinking and rehashing the former featherweight, junior lightweight world champion Guerrero couldn’t pick a winner between Khan and Judah but adds that “you can never count a guy out like Judah.”
The lanky speed bomber was one of the first alternatives offered by Golden Boy Promotions to Team Khan.
“They (Team Khan) didn’t want to fight Robert (Guerrero),” said Bob Santos who manages Guerrero. “They never said why.”
Still, the winner of Judah and Khan will have two junior welterweight titles and that’s a pretty enticing pair of carrots.
“Hopefully I can fight the winner,” says Bradley. “It will be for the undisputed junior welterweight championship.”
Guerrero, who is ranked number seven in several pound for pound lists including this one, knows he has a big obstacle in Argentina’s big punching Maidana. But after that, he’d like the winner too.
“I can eat whatever I want at this weight,” says Guerrero, who looks like a welterweight.
It looks like Saturday’s winner between Judah and Khan already has a dance card filled.
More on Bradley
The congenial Palm Spring’s prizefighter has a dispute with his co-promoters and feels the answer will need to be decided in court. He cannot discuss the exact nature of the problem but admits there is a dispute.
“Got nothing but love for them, it’s just business,” said Bradley about promoters Thompson Boxing Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions.
Bradley is currently ranked by this publication as number six in the top prizefighters pound for pound in the world. The undefeated fighter’s last victory came last January when he overwhelmed Devon Alexander to win by technical decision after 10 rounds. He regained the WBC title that he was forced to relinquish in 2009 and kept the WBO title he already had earned that same year.
“I’m always in shape,” said Bradley who hopes to be back in the ring fighting. “I never stop training.”
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Joseph Elegele (12-0) vs. Lanard Lane (12-1).
Fri. Showtime, 8 p.m., Roger Bowling (9-1) vs. Bobby Voelker (23-8).
Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Chris Martin (22-0-2) vs. Jose Silveira (12-3)
Sat. Directv, 2 p.m., Dereck Chisora (14-0) vs. Tyson Fury (14-0).
Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Amir Khan (25-1) vs. Zab Judah (41-6).
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV