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Tim Bradley to fight on December 13th, Diego Chaves likely opponent

bradley3By Dan Ambrose: Tim Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs) will be fighting in three months on December 13th at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. The likely opponent is #10 IBF Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs), who has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, according to Dan Rafael.

It’s a good opponent for Bradley considering that both fighters are coming off of defeats, and Chaves actually looked a lot better than Bradley did in his recent defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao last April. Chaves lost to Brandon Rios last August by a 9th round disqualification in a fight that Chaves was winning at the time referee Vic Drakulitch halted it due to him seeing Chaves throw an elbow.

Chaves had been fouled all night long with head-butts to the face by Rios without the referee taking any points away from Rios. Chaves later said that he felt he was fighting two people in the ring – Rios and the referee at the same time.

Bradley needs to look good in this fight because it’s been a while since he really shined. He defeated Juan Manuel Marquez by a 12 round split decision last year in October in a fight in which Bradley used constant movement. It was a very boring fight to watch for a lot of boxing fans, because Bradley chose not to take any chances whatsoever with the 41-year-old Marquez.

The outcome was controversial because Marquez had gotten the better of Bradley whenever he’d stop moving and would just fight. In Bradley’s performance before that, he’d defeated Ruslan Provodnikov by a close 12 round decision in March of 2013. Provodnikov knocked Bradley down in the 12th round and had him ready to be knocked out. It was a fight where a rematch would have been justified, but instead Bradley moved on with his less than impressive win.

At this point Bradley is going to need to look good against Chaves if he wants to get another shot against Pacquiao so that he can get a chance to win back his WBO welterweight title. It’s pretty obvious that Bradley will be back in the ring with Pacquiao sooner or later since Top Rank promoter Bob Arum doesn’t have many options for Pacquiao to fight. But Bradley can get the rematch with Pacquiao a lot sooner if he shines against Chaves and wins perhaps one more fight in an impressive fashion to warrant him getting a third crack at the 35-year-old Filipino star.

As long as Bradley keeps winning and looking good, which he hasn’t done in a long time, he should keep getting rematches against Pacquiao. Ideally, it would be nice to see Bradley fight some other guys other than Pacquiao like Amir Khan, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Kell Brook, Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman, but that obviously isn’t going to happen due to Bradley fighting for Top Rank.

Bradley would be a much better fighter if he moved back down to 140 where his lack of power isn’t such a handicap for him, but he doesn’t want to fight at 140 because there’s bigger fights for him at 147 against Pacquiao. But once Pacquiao moves down to 140, Bradley might decide on moving back down to follow the money.

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