Tim Bradley re-ups with Top Rank for two more years
By Chris Williams: Rather than testing the free market to fight some of the biggest names at 147, former two division world champion Tim Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs) has signed a two-year extension with Top Rank.
This isn’t the first time the 32-year-old Bradley has re-upped with Top Rank. He already did it before and got a nice payday against Manny Pacquiao for a third fight. However, with the Pacquiao seemingly exhausted after the less than spectacular pay-per-view numbers from their last fight in April, there doesn’t appear to be anyone in the Top Rank stable for Bradley to fight.
He won’t fight his good friend Terence Crawford, because they’re good buddies. Once you remove Crawford from the mix, it leaves Bradley fighting rematches against Top Rank fighters Brandon Rios and Jessie Vargas, and maybe someone like Viktor Postol. Those are not big fights.
Bradley’s decision to stay with Top Rank likely means he’ll never fight some of the big names at 140 and 147 like Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Amir Khan, Errol Spence Jr, Shawn Porter, Andre Berto, and Keith Thurman. Those are potentially seven big fights that Bradley could have had if he had moved on from Top Rank. But then again, if Bradley was beaten by one or two of them, which would seem likely, then he wouldn’t get the fights against the others.
I don’t know that Bradley can beat guys like Spence, Porter, Berto, Thurman, Broner or Garcia. I think all of them beat Bradley fight now. He’s talen too much wear and dtear during his career and he can’t hang with those guys in my view.
Bradley had four nice fights with Top Rank since signing with them five years ago. He fought Pacquiao three times and Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley’s other fights came against Diego Chaves, Ruslan Provodnikov, Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas and Joel Casamayor. Those aren’t big fights.
“We’ve had a wonderful relationship over the years with Tim Bradley, and it’s been a relationship that has been very successful for all of us,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef said to ESPN.com. “Tim has been one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world for about the last 10 years, and he and [wife and manager] Monica [Bradley] have been wonderful partners. We look forward to continuing our great relationship.”
Bradley made a lot of money with Top Rank in fighting Pacquiao x3, Marquez, Chavez, Vargas and Rios. I suppose that Bradley will be able to continue to get decent paydays fighting guys that he can absolutely beat in the Top Rank stable.
Bradley would like to fight 35-year-old former four division world champion Miguel Cotto. It’s unknown if Top Rank boss Bob Arum can make that fight. With Cotto looking over super featherweights like Yuriorkis Gamboa, and welterweights like Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios, it’s possible that Cotto would jump at the chance of fighting a small guy like the 5’6” Bradley. It would be a mismatch in favor of Cotto, but at least he would win and Bradley would get another payday.
I don’t think it would be a great deal for the boxing public to see a mismatch like Bradley vs. Cotto, but that probably won’ keep the fight from getting made.
Bradley hasn’t fought since losing to Pacquiao last April. Top Rank is going to looking to either get Bradley back in the ring in late 2016 or in early 2017, according to Dan Rafael.
If Bradley doesn’t fight again this year, then it means he only fought once in 2016. That’s obviously not a good thing. You sign an extension with Top Rank for two years, and then you miss out on fighting at least two times in the year. I don’t know what kind of money Top Rank is giving Bradley to re-up with them, but if he’s only going to be fighting once a year, then it doesn’t seem like a great deal.
I don’t know if this is a great deal for Top Rank too with them signing an old guy with no punching power like Bradley. It would make sense if Bradley was young, big, powerful and super talented like Errol Spence Jr, but he’s not. Bradley can’t beat a lot of the guys in the welterweight division in my view. Of course, all the guys that Bradley can’t beat are with Al Haymon and Lou Dibella.
I think Bradley can beat all the Top Rank guys, minus Terence Crawford and Pacquiao. Unfortunately, that means Bradley is stuck fighting guys like Vargas, Jose Benavidez, Viktor Postol and maybe Ruslan Provodnikov. Arum can’t match Bradley against Brandon Rios again because no one would want to see a rematch between them after watching Bradley easily beat Rios last year.
Bradley won a controversial 12 round decision over Pacquiao in their first fight in 2012. In 2014, Pacquiao avenged his loss to Bradley by beating him. In their third fight last April, Pacquiao dominated Bradley to win an easy 12 round decision.
Bradley beat Provodnikov by a 12 round decision in 2013 despite being knocked down in the 12th and badly hurt.
“That’s one of the fights Tim would like before he is done with his career,” Monica Bradley said to ESPN.com about a fight against Cotto.
Cotto vs. Bradley would be a mismatch due to Cotto being so much bigger and stronger than Bradley. If Cotto wants to fight a welterweight, then he needs to fight someone that is actually young and powerful. Bradley isn’t known for his punching power. It would be far more interesting if Cotto fought someone like Thurman, Porter, Danny Garcia or Spence.
Cotto wants to get back inside the ring by December, and Bradley might be an option for them if the two fighters can negotiate the fight. I doubt that the fight will get put together before the end of the year due to the negotiations slowing things down.
“Maybe a fight with one of Haymon’s fighters is also possible,” Monica Bradley said. “Top Rank said it could be possible.”
I don’t think we’re going to see Bradley fight any of Al Haymon’s fighters anytime soon if ever. I don’t think that’s realistic.