Bradley to fight on December 15th at Madison Square Garden
By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) will be making his first defense of his World Boxing Organization 147 pound title on December 15th at Madison Square Garden, in New York, New York. There is still no opponent picked out for the fight, but RingTV is reporting that 140 pound contender Ruslan Provodnikov is one of the leading candidates to get the fight.
Provodnikov is ranked #2 by the WBO at light welterweight, but doesn’t have a ranking in the welterweight division and is a very average fighter. It’s starting to become old hat for champions to defend their titles against guys that fight a division below them but who are ranked high by the same sanctioning body.
Bradley’s hopes for a big money rematch with Manny Pacquiao were dashed yesterday when it was revealed that Pacquiao would be fighting 39-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez instead of Bradley on December 8th. Bradley had been waiting around for ages to see if Pacquiao would choose him. How he’s quickly looking to get a fight lined up to get back in the ring before the end of the year.
If Bradley has to settle for Provodnikov then it will likely be a huge disappointment for him, because this isn’t a big money fight and neither guy has a fan base in the New York area. Bradley’s promoter Bob Arum must be thinking of putting Bradley on the undercard of some bigger attraction because if he makes a Bradley-Provodnikov fight as the main event in Madison Square Garden they might be lucky if they can draw 2000 fans. Bradley doesn’t sell tickets in large numbers even in his home state of California.
Arum might be looking to have Bradley milk his title for a little while until Pacquiao gets past Marquez. Then Arum can make another in house Top Rank fight between Pacquiao and Bradley if he’s not able to put together a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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