Bradley-Gamboa fight in discussions
NEW YORK -- Welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. is supposed to be back in action March 16 and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has been saying it’s going to be a big-name opponent, but he won’t say who.
But from what I am told, Top Rank has a deal with Yuriorkis Gamboa to face Bradley in an HBO main event at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Gamboa, the 50 Cent-promoted former featherweight titlist, won an interim junior lightweight belt in December on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV undercard in a deal made with Top Rank (Gamboa’s former promoter).
Gamboa would move up in weight to challenge for Bradley’s welterweight title, but there are issues of how high. My sources tell me that they have been unable to agree on an exact weight. Gamboa, at a huge size disadvantage, would like Bradley to come into the low 140s while Bradley (not far removed from being a champion at 140) is not keen on dropping weight, nor is he in love with the financial terms.
It remains to be seen if Bradley will take the fight. He hasn’t fought since June, when he got a gift decision (and a welterweight title) against Pacquiao.
He could have returned in December to fight a rematch with Lamont Peterson (the junior welterweight titlist who would have moved up in weight) on HBO for $2.3 million. But Bradley turned it down, even though he had decisively beaten Peterson a couple of years ago.
One of the reasons there could be issues closing a deal with Bradley -- and this is speculation, but some in the business believe could be legit -- is that he is also being considered as an opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 4.
Obviously, he would make way more money against Mayweather than Gamboa. And he wouldn’t have to lose any weight.
Some might ask how could a Mayweather fight be made, since Mayweather is with Al Haymon and Golden Boy is the main promoter of the event, and Haymon and Golden Boy have horrific relations with Top Rank, Bradley’s promoter.
I believe that if a Mayweather fight was presented to Bradley, that Top Rank, for the right seven-figure cut of the Bradley package, would allow him to go fight Mayweather and stay out of the promotion.
I can see it happening. If you’re Mayweather, Bradley is a better style fight for him than either of the two candidates being discussed for his next fight: Robert Guerrero (a physical southpaw) and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (a bigger man with good power). Bradley is right-handed, smaller and presents less problems than they do.
Maybe I’m being a conspiracy theorist here, but maybe, just maybe, the hang up in announcing Mayweather’s next opponent is because there are delicate talks going on behind the scenes for a possible fight with Bradley, whose attorney Gabriel Penagaricano, has a good relationship with Golden Boy through his recent dealings with the company on behalf of his top client, Miguel Cotto (Mayweather’s last opponent.)
If Bradley vacates the March 16 date -- be it to fight Mayweather or because he won’t agree to terms for a Gamboa fight -- it would not surprise me to see Top Rank and HBO move junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire up a month (possibly to fight a unification bout with Guillermo Rigondeaux) and have him fill the date rather than go in April, which is the plan now.
It's gonna be an explosive fight. I read in some forums that Golovkin did well againts Canelo in their sparring sessions.
Alvarez began the session sticking and moving effectively. The young redhead was on his toes when he maneuvered around the casually advancing Golovkin, but he planted his feet every time he let his hands go, including his stiff jab. However, Golovkin picked off most of Alvarez’s shots with his gloves as he quickly cut the ring off, occasionally switching stances as he stepped forward. The 2004 Olympian slipped a beautiful left uppercut through Alvarez’s guard to score the first significant punch midway through the round. Alvarez loaded up with a retaliatory hook that missed and spun him halfway around. Golovkin didn’t jab much, but he landed it whenever he let it go. Alvarez began to look for ways to counter his antagonist in the final minute and scored with a sweet right cross followed by a hook that shook Golovkin down to his shoes. The Kazakh just smiled at him, though. Unfazed, Alvarez stood his ground in the final 30 seconds and took a few hard body shots.
Golovkin stalked a little faster while displaying decent head movement and a nice straight, crisp jab. Alvarez definitely felt the pressure as he gave ground without allowing his back to touch the ropes. He used fluid upper-body movement to evade Golovkin’s short power shots, which prompted co-trainer Jose Reynoso to yell “Bien, bien, muy bien!” from the corner. Alvarez landed a picture-perfect head-to-body hook combination mid-round. Golovkin fired back but the kid leaned away from the punches. Alvarez tried to counter Golovkin but couldn’t get through the older fighter’s guard. Still, the young man’s accuracy backed Golovkin off for the first time during the session. Alvarez followed Golovkin during the final minute but walked into a hard left hook that appeared to rock him with 10 seconds remaining. Alvarez didn’t return to his corner after the bell but instead tried to shake out his right leg, which immediately stiffened on impact of Golovkin‘s hook.
Rounds three and four:
Alvarez abandoned his jab and his upper-body movement and took the fight to Golovkin with both hands. Golovkin welcomed the aggression, easily blocking Alvarez’s punches while landing most of his. Alvarez sucked it up and even walked forward while attempting to block as much heat as he could, but it was clear that he could not match Golovkin’s strength or power. Still, the budding young star got in an occasional power punch whenever he let his hands go in bunches. His hook-right combination found the mark but his technique was not as tight as it was at the start of the session and his face was turning beet red from Golovkin‘s punches. The kid showed guts but he didn’t merit a single “bien” from Reynoso in the third round. He didn’t hear it until two and half minutes into the fourth round, when he let loose with a blazing five-punch combination. Golovkin dodged or parried most of the shots but Alvarez earned his respect for the round.
A tired-looking Alvarez resumed his jab and lateral movement to buy himself a breather. His jab was especially effective when he shot-gunned it. Golovkin neglected his jab and looked to counter Alvarez’s left stick with single power punches (the hook in particular). Alvarez did more moving along the ring perimeter (his back now grazing the ropes) than punching, but he got off hard shots when he did let his hands go.
Alvarez caught his second wind in the final round, bouncing on his toes with quick one-two combinations. “Muy bien!” Reynoso yelled after Alvarez landed a right uppercut-right cross combination off the ropes. Golovkin grinned again and attacked Alvarez’s body as the kid tried to spin away. They both loaded up with single power punches during the final minute of the round.