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Bradley Stripped, Morales To Fight Barrios For Title...WOODS

BY Michael Woods ON July 28, 2011
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It's been a busy week-plus for Tim Bradley, and not in a good way. On July 20, word leaked that he's being sued by his promoters, Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson, who are miffed the fighter didn't take a fight with Amir Khan, which they had set up. They lost a cut from that bout, which instead went to Zab Judah. Today, Dan Rafael reports, Bradley's WBC junior welterweight title was taken from him from that sanctioning body. Allegedly, they did this because Bradley has been inactive. That doesn't on surface make all that much sense, because he last fought six months ago--he beat Devon Alexander, and added Alexander's WBC belt to go with his WBO 140 pound strap--and name fighters frequently fight just twice a year. And while the WBC can, if they wish, cite something or other in their rule book, which is routinely subject to interpretation and manipulation, we all know that quite likely some other reasoning beyond "doing the right thing" is behind this move.

With the word that 34-year-old Erik Morales (51-2), the Mexican legend, will meet 34 year-old Jorge Barrios (50-4-1)--who basically defines "inactive" by the way, since he last fought in October 2010, against journeyman Wilson Alcorro--we'll take the liberty of reading in between the lines here. The hope in some corners is that Morales beats Barrios, which could happen, as he looked surprisingly decent in losing to Marcos Maidana in April after taking 2008 and 2009 off during a spell of "retirement." Then he could act as a solid "name" foe for Amir Khan, though we do wonder if fans will buy into that bout as a legit test for the WBA, IBF 140 pound champ Khan, who would seem to have too much in every department for a guy who turns 35 in September.

And Barrios is a Golden Boy fighter, so if he were to win, it'd be easy to make a Barrios-Khan fight, as Khan works under the Golden Boy banner. He is not to my knowledge in anyone's top 20 at 140, for the record, so I am eager to hear the reasoning and justification for him getting this title crack. He did hold the WBO super feather crown for a spell in 2005-2006 but did nothing to elevate him to a place where he is "owed" this honor.

In a game where you need a daily dose of Head and Shoulders to combat the head scratchers that pop up, how Barrios, who fought at 130 as of Sept. 2008, and has fought just three times since, against sub-marquee names, got this gig is a biggie.

This bout, if it doesn't fall apart under the heat of media and fan critiques, is due to unfold on Sept. 17, on the Mayweather-Victor Ortiz undercard in Vegas. I typically steer clear of sanctioning body silliness; I see it sort of like aggressive panhandlers on the subway. I figure if I ignore 'em, they'll go away. Fans know who is the real deal, who should be fighting who, and don't go by who is wearing what belt to help inform them. So, if the fans speak out, and make it clear who they want to see fight in this weight class, perhaps the panhandler will find another car to annoy.

LOL, I won't bet on it...

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

there have been other boxers who have been far more inactive than bradley while sitting in the cooler waiting for the easy opponents..and never got stripped of their belts.....

Morales actually petioned the sanctioning body who represents the particular alphabet strap involved... didn't think it would go down so easily without even a whimper from Bradley's camp... but why would his managers and promoters even get involved since he's effectively served them their eviction papers.

Sucks for Bradly to have more ego than business savvy... Pac has never even mentioned Bradley's name... neither has Mayweather.. good luck with that.

At least Barrios does come to engage and for some reason he whips the crowds into a frenzy even when he loses.. speaking of barrios... how long has chris john held his portion of the featherweight title in moth balls?

anyway both morales and barrios will bring out the casual hispanic fans whose memory is indelibly stamped with their past achievements. Canello vs Alvarez is equally soft but who can resist and up and comer destroying a guy in Tysonesque fashion? I expect Alvarez to create more drama than Hatton did while it lasts.

Radam G says:

The crookiness of the alphabet sanctioning organizations will never cease. WTF! The man win in dat title belt in dat squared jungle, and dat is da way he shall lose, unless he announces that he's giving up the belt to retire, go up or down into another division, or he meets a crippling illness or death. Holla!

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