Written by Nick Tylwalk | 05 May 2011
For an undefeated world title holder, Timothy Bradley sure is having a year to forget.
First his bout with Devon Alexander flopped both financially and aesthetically, and now his next big fight is in danger of falling by the wayside.
That's because the man he's supposed to face, fellow 140-pound beltholder Amir Khan, is tired of waiting for him. ESPN's Dan Rafael reported last night that Khan is considering other opponents after a deadline set by Golden Boy Promotions came and went with no contact from Bradley or his promoter, Gary Shaw.
Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer said he needs to get moving to ensure Khan has someone to fight on their desired date of July 23. He offered up a list of four names, all of whom are intriguing possibilities.
Here they are in descending order of my personal level of excitement:
* Robert Guerrero - He'd have to move up for 135 pounds to take the fight, but Rafael said he'd have no problem doing that. Truthfully, Guerrero is big for a lightweight, so it stands to reason he'd be able to handle the jump to junior welter without much trouble. He's undoubtedly deserving after looking as good as we've ever seen him while dispatching Michael Katsidis a few weeks ago. The Ghost lacks the raw power to test Khan's worrisome whiskers, but his toolbox is full of things that would give Amir some problems. I'd go so far as to say I might even favor Guerrero if he gets the nod, but his lack of name recognition makes me think he is at the bottom of the list.
* Zab Judah - Two years ago I never would have thought Zab would be in position for an opportunity like this, but boxing is a funny sport sometimes. Judah has earned it anyway, winnng five straight and showing more than a few flashes of his old form along the way. This might be the most dangerous match-up for Khan in terms of the raw explosiveness he'd have to face, but Zab is also vulnerable to winding up on the mat himself. Sounds like the recipe for an exciting fight to me.
* Marcos Maidana - You definitely can't say Maidana doesn't deserve it after he gave Khan some nervous moments late in their December meeting that got several Fight of the Year awards. Still, Maidana showed off his limitations in his narrow victory over Erik Morales last month. Having them face off again seems like a no-brainer, but I can't shake the feeling that Freddie Roach is licking his chops coming up with a way for Khan to win more easily next time. Maidana is super tough and as close as there is to guaranteed action, I just don't think he'll fare as well in a rematch.
* Erik Morales - I know, I know: Morales is one of the best stories of the year so far for his courageous (albeit losing) effort against Maidana. He's definitely got something left in the tank. But enough to give Khan a real challenge? I'm skeptical. El Terrible won't find Khan nearly as easy to time or hit, though he'd certainly give it his all trying. Morales is pretty well known to casual fans, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if he ends up as the eventual winner in this little derby.
None of those four are bad choices, meaning Bradley is kidding himself if he thinks he has any leverage in this deal. If he's holding out for more money - which is widely rumored despite reports that the proposal on the table to fight Khan would be the biggest payday of his career - it's probably a bad call.
Then again, the way his year is going, perhaps it's simply par for the course.
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