By Francisco Salazar
Junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley wanted to make clear his intentions behind his June 19th bout against unbeaten Luis Carlos Abregu. “No one wants to fight me and I have to stay busy.” Seems like an honest answer from Bradley, who will be fighting for the third time in a row at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA, just a stone’s throw away from his hometown of Palm Springs. It will be the first fight for Bradley since signing a network deal with HBO. Bradley successfully defended his title against Anthony Peterson in December, winning a wide, yet competitive 12 round decision. Co-promoter Gary Shaw and Thompson Boxing Promotions had looked at other champions at 140 pounds, even at Paul Malignaggi as possible opponents for Bradley. When nothing panned out, Bradley decided a move up a weight class was necessary. “I’m going to try 147 pounds. Manny (Pacquiao) shows that he can do it at 147 pounds.”
Bradley has fought at the welterweight limit before, but that was earlier in his career and only on a few occasions. With his improved boxing skills and strong work ethic, Bradley feels that his style would be suited fine at 147 pounds.
“I know I can fight against any fighter at that weight.”
Bradley, who has been vocal about fighting Pacquiao in the future, will face an unbeaten and hard-hitting fighter in Abregu, a native of Argentina.
Abregu, who is also under the Gary Shaw Promotions banner, is familiar to fight fans here in the United States as he has fought on ESPN and Showtime. His bout against Irving Garcia last May caused buzz as one of the fights of the year as Abregu had to get up twice from the canvas to knock out Garcia.
Ironically, Bradley also fought a number of times on Showtime before recently inking his deal with HBO.
Despite this fight in June, Bradley is eyeing a possible unification showdown against another 140 pound champion in Devon Alexander. Previously, Bradley balked at fighting Alexander, expressing that it did not make business sense to fight the young fighter from St. Louis and because of what Bradley felt that Alexander did not deserve such a high ranking. Bradley was eventually stripped of the WBC title, which Alexander won when he defeated Junior Witter in August.
Bradley hopes Alexander keeps doing well for a match up of former amateur teammates.
“I hope that I can fight Devon Alexander later on. We need to do things the right way. Hopefully, he can fight a couple of more bouts than maybe we can do it at the end of the year.”
Should Bradley come out victorious against Abregu, a Bradley-Alexander bout should be an intriguing match up. Stay tuned.