Arum has four candidates for Bradley’s next fight: Guerrero, Peterson, Berto & Provodnikov
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is looking at four possible opponents to put in with his fighter WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley for his December 15th fight. These are the names that Arum is supposedly looking at: Robert Guerrero, Ruslan Provodnikov, Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto.
Let’s be honest about this. There’s really only two of those guys – Provodnikov and Guerrero – who are in the running for the Bradley fight, because Berto is likely to fight IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius Bundrage next, and Lamont Peterson and Zab Judah are almost surely going to be fighting next. One theory for why Arum could be including Berto and Peterson’s name to get an opponent for Bradley to take less than what they might be asking for if they realized that there only two real options for Bradley. It’s really one, because who wants to see Bradley fight Provodnikov? Yeah, if they stick the fight on ESPN, I’m all for it, but to have Bradley fight Provodnikov on HBO, no thanks.
I don’t care if it’ll likely be a non-pay per view bout, I don’t see a Bradley vs. Provodnikov worthy of putting on HBO, even regular HBO. That’s ESPN2 all the way as far as I’m concerned. If I’m Bradley and all they have to offer me is light welterweight like Provodnikov, I’d tell to pass. At least if Bradley’s going to fight a non-star or an obscure guy, he should be from the same division as him. Why is Provodnikov needed from the light welterweight division when there’s plenty of contenders for Bradley to fight at welterweight, such as Mike Jones and Thomas Dulorme.
Arum needs to do whatever he can go get Guerrero for Bradley because that’s the only real choice he has. If they have to go with Provodnikov, that would be terrible for Bradley. I saw Provodnikov win a gift decision over DeMarcus Corley recently and he looked terrible. If Provodnikov can’t Corley without controversy, then he deserve to get a title shot. Provodnikov was badly dominated in his loss to Mauricio Herrera last year. That’s like handing Bradley a victory if they match him up with Provodnikov. They’ve got to be able to do better than this.
It’s looking like Guerrero is going to be the one that gets this fight, and that could be a bad thing for Bradley because he’s also the guy that he matches up the least with. Guerrero is like kryptonite for Bradley, because he boxes well, has decent power, and throws a lot of punches. Bradley doesn’t throw a lot of shots and usually tries to hit and run. I’m not so certain that this will work against a guy like Guerrero. There are guys that can probably beat Guerrero with no problems at welterweight, such as Andre Berto, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, but those guys all have really hand speed and a good work rate. Bradley has okay hand speed but he doesn’t have the power or work rate to do well against Guerrero.