Unbeaten Timothy “Desert Storm’’ Bradley has traveled thousands and thousands of miles for fights in the last 15 months. Now, finally, “Desert Storm” is getting a home game in the California desert when he defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Jr. Welterweight world title against former champion and dynamic puncher Nate Campbell, Saturday, August 1, live on SHOWTIME® (9p ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). The scheduled 12-round world title fight will emanate from the brand-new The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., less than 10 miles from where Bradley grew up in North Palm Springs. The event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Don King Productions and Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa. Tickets go on sale July 3, at 10 a.m. (PT) and will be available for purchase online at www.HotWaterCasino.com/TheShow or by calling (800) 585-3737.
In his professional career, Bradley has racked up the frequent flyer miles and collected two world titles, earning the respect of boxing fans and media throughout the world for his fistic efforts overseas and in the United States.
The veteran Campbell is a former unified lightweight world champion moving up in weight to challenge Bradley at 140-pounds. He can be crafty and smart, but more importantly, he’s hard hitting with 25 of his 33 wins coming by knockout.
“God answered my prayers’’, said Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs), who will be making his seventh appearance on SHOWTIME. “There have been a lot of people wanting to see me fight at home since I won my first championship.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight out here, a dream come true. There will not be added pressure. I will not get out of character when I fight Nate. I learned a lot from the Holt fight and I will stick to my game plan. I have to thank my promoters Thompson Boxing and Gary Shaw for making this homecoming possible.’’
On defending against Campbell, Bradley said, “Nate is a good person. He is a veteran that has been watching me for a while but what he saw from outside of the ring is different than what he will feel inside. (Junior) Witter and (Kendall) Holt both saw me as a lesser threat. Ask them what they think now. And as great as Campbell thinks he is as a fighter, I am in my prime and he will not take that away from me.”
Offered Campbell (33-5-1, 25 KOs), “We would prefer to not fight Bradley in his own back yard but at the end of the day neither the fans nor the officials will be able to get into the ring with him. Timothy Bradley will be alone with me when he steps into the ring and he’s going to have to deal with that reality. Bradley will not be served a home-cooked dinner on August 1, so I urge him to enjoy breakfast and lunch beforehand with all of his friends, family and fans.
“I have no personal beefs with Timmy, and I respect him for taking this fight when a sanctioning organization hasn’t ordered him to do it. Bradley has two things that I want: A world title and his undefeated record, and I will take them both.”
The 25-year-old Bradley is coming off a world title unification victory over Holt on April 4, 2009, in Montreal on SHOWTIME.
In the biggest boxing event in Canada in nearly 30 years, Bradley retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) title and earned Holt’s WBO belt with a 12-round unanimous decision. Bradley was dropped in the first and final rounds, but dominated the middle sessions to win a hard-fought match in convincing fashion.
Bradley has since relinquished the WBC belt to avoid a less-enticing mandatory defense and take on the more fan-pleasing, former three-belt world lightweight titleholder Campbell.
The aggressive, physical and well-conditioned Bradley captured the WBC crown in Great Britain with an upset victory over Witter on May 10, 2008, and successfully defended it in Biloxi, Miss., the following Sept. 13 against Edner Cherry. Both fights were on SHOWTIME.
“Timothy Bradley is the hardest working world champion in the business as proven by his upcoming title defense against Nate Campbell,” said Gary Shaw, Bradley’s co-promoter. “He was an underdog when he defeated WBC champion Junior Witter and when he unified the title by beating WBO champion Kendall Holt. Timothy doesn’t believe in easy paydays. He works hard in the gym and when he’s not training he’s an outstanding family man at home. He is a shining example of what is right in a boxer. Look for a SOUPberb performance against Campbell.”
Campbell, from Jacksonville, Fla., won the International Boxing Federation (IBF), WBO and World Boxing Association (WBA) 135-pound belts by shocking previously unbeaten unified lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz on March 8, 2008.
In a sterling performance, “The Galaxxy Warrior” outgunned and battered the previously unbeaten Diaz en route to registering an upset, 12-round split decision in Cancun, Mexico.
The 37-year-old Campbell, who didn’t start fighting until he was 28, was scheduled to defend his world titles against undefeated two-division world champion Joan Guzman on Sept. 13, 2008, but Guzman failed to make weight and was not healthy enough to compete.
The relentless and punishing Campbell had to wait until Feb. 14, 2009 for an opportunity to defend his belts. He scored a majority decision over once-beaten Ali Funeka, but he failed to make weight and was stripped of his titles.
With trouble making weight and finding a big fight at 135 pounds, Campbell is moving up to the stacked 140-pound division to fight Bradley. With names like Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton and Bradley, the move up in weight wasn’t a hard decision for the respected former champ.
Opened in February 2009, The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa is the ultimate in luxury entertainment. With just over 2,000 seats and excellent sight lines, guests can get up-close and personal with the world’s finest entertainers and athletes. The Show also features 12 VIP boxes with gourmet catering and private bars. Right outside, Agua Caliente offers 24/7 gaming and a gorgeous, 340-room hotel, plus spa and resort. For more information, visit HotWaterCasino.com.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein will call the action with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.