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Feature Story

World title twinbill on SHOWTIME

Unbeaten Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley will make another defense of his WBO Jr. Welterweight world title in his California desert hometown when he takes on undefeated Lamont Peterson, Saturday, Dec. 12 live on SHOWTIME® (9p ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). The scheduled 12-round world title fight will emanate from 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. In a co-feature, devastating knockout artist Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan will defend his WBC and WBA 115-pound crowns against the hard-hitting Tomas Rojas.

The event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Top Rank, Inc. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.HotWaterCasino.com/TheShow or by calling Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737.

The 26-year-old Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs), who is coming off a no contest decision against former unified lightweight world champion Nate Campbell on Aug. 1 on SHOWTIME, is on a hot streak in the stacked 140-pound division. Bradley originally won the fight via a highly controversial third-round TKO, but the decision was later changed to a NC by the California State Athletic Commission due to an accidental head butt that opened a cut over Campbell’s left eye.

Bradley quickly moved on from the disappointing no contest against Campbell in order to focus on his next opponent, the lengthier and taller, Peterson.

“Boxing is about style, and styles make fights,” Bradley said. “He could give me problems, but we’re going to see. He’s a much taller opponent with a lot longer reach, but that’s not going to keep me off of him. I’m coming in there to get him, and we’ll see how long he lasts.”

Prior to the bout with Campbell, Bradley defeated Kendall Holt by way of unanimous decision in a world title unification bout on April 4, in Montreal on SHOWTIME. The aggressive, physical and well-conditioned Bradley captured the WBC crown in Great Britain with an upset victory over Junior Witter on May 10, 2008, and successfully defended it in Biloxi, Miss., the following Sept. 13 against Edner Cherry. Both fights were on SHOWTIME.

Many feel Bradley doesn’t get the respect he deserves for being the top fighter at 140 pounds, even after winning the title on the road against Witter, defending it over Cherry and fighting in a dangerous unification bout with Holt.

“That just shows you how determined I am to being great,” Bradley said. “At the end of the day, after I beat Lamont Peterson, people are going to start realizing that, ‘I’m going to stop betting against this guy and I’m going to get on the bandwagon.’”

Peterson (27-0, 13 KOs), of Washington, D.C., who is one of the hottest prospects in boxing, is coming off a seventh-round TKO over previously unbeaten Willy Blain on April 25, 2009 for the interim WBO junior welterweight title.

The 25-year-old’s story is one of the most compelling in a sport filled with rags-to-riches tales. Peterson and his brother, fellow top-prospect Anthony, were left homeless after their father landed in jail for a drug conviction, leaving the pair fighting on the streets to survive.

After years of homelessness and jumping from foster home to foster home, the Petersons were discovered by trainer Barry Hunter, who took them to his gym and taught them the sweet science. Boxing gave them discipline, hope and the goal to become world champions.

Now, Lamont Peterson has his first shot at a world title against a man that no one in the 140-pound division has been able to beat.

“It’s a dream come true,” Peterson said. “A lot of times you talk about us being out in the street, and a lot of the times it got me through just dreaming of this day of fighting to become a world champion. Right now, I’m living my dream. I’m just happy about the fight and giving it my all because I know this is it.”

Peterson knows he is taking on a dangerous opponent for his first world title test, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“A lot of guys fight someone they know they can beat,” Peterson said. But, with me, it’s about fighting the best. If a fight comes up, you take it. I’m fighting the No. 1 at 140 pounds. I don’t have to worry about going through the other guys. If I win this, I’m No. 1.”

And when you’re fighting the man to beat in any division, Peterson knows you have to prepare for just about everything.

“Timothy can box, and I know he can bang,” Peterson said. “I know I can box, and I know I can bang. It could be an all out war or it could be a chess match. I’m ready for either one.”

Darchinyan (32-2-1, 26 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, is fresh off a shocking 12-round unanimous decision loss to IBF bantamweight champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko on July 11 on SHOWTIME. Darchinyan, the two-division world who was heavily favored in the fight, was fighting for the first time at 118 pounds after dominating the 115-pound division.

But Darchinyan, 33, didn’t seem to have the power he was known for in the lower divisions, and Agbeko capitalized on Darchinyan’s mistakes and landed the stronger punches en route to a convincing victory. Now, the four-time world champ will defend his crowns back in the 115-pound division, where he holds victories over Cristian Mijares and Jorge Arce and has shown that his is much more comfortable and effective.

The 29-year-old Rojas (32-10, 22 KOs), of Veracruz, Mexico, defeated Everado Morales for the interim WBC super flyweight title on July 18 with a ninth-round TKO. Rojas then defeated Evans Mbamba on Saturday, Oct. 24 in Veracruz, Mexico.

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 with Ray Smaltz producing and Bob Dunphy directing.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and Strikeforce mixed martial arts telecasts, along with access to the SHOWTIME Sports Facebook® and Twitter® pages, please go to http://Sports.Sho.com.




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