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'the Desert Storm' Faces a Tough Mandatory




Timothy Bradley completes what has been quite an eventful 2009 on Saturday night at the Agua Caliente Casino (Showtime 9 pm, ET/PT) in Rancho Mirage, California, when he defends his WBO jr. welterweight strap against mandatory challenger,  Lamont Peterson. And folks, this isn’t a Patrick Charpentier or Dmitriy Salita, Peterson is no mis-mandatory. More than one boxing insider is tabbing Peterson to take Bradley’s belt.
 
And you don’t have to tell Bradley, who will be fighting near his hometown of Palm Springs, that Peterson is quite the legitimate challenge.
 
"Absolutely, styles make fights and we’re definitely preparing ourselves for his advantages, he’s taller," admitted Bradley, who has to overcome Peterson’s height and reach."But like I said to everybody before I’m a tall mans worst nightmare. I’ve been fighting big guys my whole career, my whole life basically and I don’t have a problem with big guys. It’s the smaller guys that give me the problems. But he’s going to try to establish his jab and try to move and keep me at bay. He’s going to have me in his face to deal with because I’m going to come in shape and I’m bringing the leather, I’m bringing the punches, I’m going to be in his face all night. I’m not going to fade.

"One thing I notice about Lamont is that he fights in spurts. He’s not consistent enough and I’m going to be consistent that night."
 
Is ’consistent’ another way of saying ’pressure’?
 
"Pressure, consistency, I’m going to keep going, I’m going to keep going and he’s going to have to stop me,"said Bradley, who comes with a mark of 24-0."That means a lot of pressure, applying a lot of pressure. It depends on what he brings because Lamont can fight on the inside, he can fight on the outside, also. So we’re going to be making so many adjustments in that fight. He’s coming forward, I might be boxing, when he’s backing up, I might be coming forward. We’re going to be constantly fighting in that ring. But it’s going to be a battle of conditioning. I know Lamont’s going to come in really good shape, too. But I think it’s going to be determination and will and whoever is the smartest man that night and can establish their game plan." 
 
Bradley respects Peterson’s all-around skills, he knows that his smooth, upright boxing can give him problems. He is familiar with him as they both came out of the same amateur class.
 
"I never faced him," Bradley recalled,"but he weighed a lot less than I did. So I always fought in a heavier weight class than he did. He fought at like 140, 141 and I fought at 152 pounds. But we traveled on the U.S. team together, went to a couple of different countries together, Germany, France, traveled on the train with him, played cards. So he knows me pretty well, he was in every national tournament I was. He was one of the top guys. I know he’s definitely a force and he’s definitely looking to make a name for himself on December 12Th. It’s my job to stop him."
 
Since defeating Junior Witter for the WBC title in May of 2008 in Nottingham, England, he has faced nothing but quality opposition. After handily defusing ’the Cherry Bomb’, Edner Cherry that September, he began this year by attempting to unify the titles against WBO titlist, Kendall Holt, at the Bell Centre in Montreal in April.
 
At the end of the first, he was looking up at the lights and the Stanley Cup banners of the Montreal Canadiens as he was decked by a blistering Holt left-hook.
 
Bradley says of that experience,"Oh, man, I was just basically like, wow. This was the first time I had been down. I was like,’I need to get back into this fight. I’m down two rounds.’ I went back to my corner, my corner, they didn’t freak out, they were very professional. They said,’You gotta get back to the game plan. The knockdown happened and lets go to work.’ And that’s what we did. I just went out real hard and just got aggressive and I said,’I’ve gotta make up two rounds, now, I’m behind.’"
 
"I was just hoping Timmy got up because it was a spectacular shot," said his co-promoter, Gary Shaw."And the first thing that went through my mind was when I saw him getting up is,’Wow, my guys got some chin.’ And y’know everybody says when you get a good fighter, they go,’Well, he hasn’t been tested, his chin has never been tested.’ I normally don’t subscribe to that- I hope my fighter ends his career never getting tested. But I thought that was a huge test for Tim Bradley. And the fact that he got up, the fact that he had his mind when he took a knee himself, I thought that was pretty clever."
 
Over the course of the next ten frames, he simply out-worked and out-gutted Holt with his tenacity and toughness. He had built up enough of an advantage that he was still ahead on points after touching the canvas again in the 12Th and final round. Before the fight, Holt had derided Bradley  as being an inexperienced and green fighter on the world-class level. But after Bradley had dusted himself off after his initial knockdown, he seemed to shy away from the fight.
 
"He hit me with his best punch and I was still in his face. I got up from his best shot that he could possibly land all night and it just frustrated him a little bit," Bradley explained."It’s like,’Man, this guy keeps coming, he’s so determined.’ I was in his face, even though he can punch pretty hard, I was just so determined and he wasn’t going to get me outta there. I was determined to win."
 
That fight was followed up by the disappointing conclusion against Nate Campbell over the summer at the Agua Caliente that saw the fight prematurely halted by a clash of heads that rendered Campbell unable to continue after three rounds. That bout was eventually ruled a ’no-contest.’
 
But with a win over Peterson, Bradley can start to make a strong case for himself as the premiere 140-pounder on the planet.
 
"I feel that I’m definitely one of the best. I don’t feel I am the best, yet." Bradley states." Even though I proved myself against the best opponents in the world. But I feel that at this point in my career I just want to fight the best opponents in the world. It really doesn’t matter to me, I want to fight the best fighters in the world. I get past Lamont Peterson, we’ll look forward to fighting a star in this division, maybe a Ricky Hatton will come back and fight somebody, fight myself, or Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather. I just want the biggest names in my division to make a name for myself."
 
Well, I’m told that Pacquiao and Mayweather have other plans as of this moment. As for facing ’the Hitman’, he’d have no problems facing him in Manchester.
 
"Absolutely, absolutely, Manchester, England, I got a lot of fans in England," he says with a laugh, referring to his victory over Witter."That’s where I won my first world title. So I have a lot of fans over there. I’m willing to travel over and definitely face Ricky Hatton in his hometown, wherever it is, it doesn’t matter. Like I said, I just want to face the best fighters in the world. Give me an opportunity to fight the best fighters in the world and watch me beat’em."
 
The wheels are in motion already to get Bradley a marquee bout in 2010, according to Shaw, who tells Maxboxing,"I’ve already been speaking to Frank Warren and Showtime on a conference call about doing an Amir Khan fight. So that’s a fight I’d like to do. I’ve spoken to Hatton’s father, but at that point they didn’t know if he was going to come out of retirement or not, to do a Hatton fight. I mean, those are the two biggest fights. If Juan Manuel Marquez wants to fight at ’40, that’s a big fight. There’s the winner of Paulie Malignaggi-Juan Diaz, so there’s a whole array of fighters out there for Tim to fight."
 
That is, if he can get past Peterson on Saturday night.
 
DARCHINYAN
 
Also on this Showtime doubleheader is Vic Darchinyan, who moves back down to jr. bantamweight, after his disappointing loss over the summer to then-IBF bantamweight titlist, Joseph Agbeko. He will be facing Tomas Rojas in defense of his WBC jr. bantamweight title and his WBA ’super’ championship.
 
"I think Vic can fight at both ’15 and ’18," said Shaw, who also promotes ’the Raging Bull’ of Australia."I just thought that he fought a  terrible fight against Agbeko, I think if you spoke to him today, he would agree that he was hard-headed. He just wanted to knock him out. He didn’t fight a smart fight. Agbeko used his head, as he proved not only against Vic but Yonnhy Perez. They both needed sutures. So I think he can still be competitive at 118 and we know for sure he’s competitive at 115."
 
They say in boxing, never say never. Which is the case again, as a rematch against one Nonito Donaire- Shaw’s former client, who he had promised would never, ever face Darchinyan in a return bout- could be in the offing." Well, I’ve already asked the WBA that if we win this fight, which I believe we will, to call for a purse bid," said Shaw. Donaire, won the interim portion of the WBA title over the summer when he decisioned Rafael Concepcion." I’m tired of Donaire saying that Vic doesn’t want to fight him- and I really shouldn’t blame that on Donaire, a lot of of the Filipino press and all that, and the fans say that Vic doesn’t want to fight him- so lets get it on once and for all. Let’s get the rematch on.
 
"It’s the biggest fight that Donaire could have. It will get him back on TV, which he’s been missing and let’s see he can do what he did the first time or if it was just a fluke."
 
Donaire is scheduled to face Gerson Guerrero in mid-February, so if this fight can be consummated look for it took take place in the early summer of 2010.
 
THE U
 
I’ll be out at the Agua Caliente Casino but I have to admit, I thought long and hard about just staying home this upcoming Saturday night. And no, not because HBO has their own ’Boxing After Dark’ featuring the rematch between Diaz-Malignaggi from Chicago, but because ESPN’s ’30 for 30’ series continues with ’the U’, which is an in-depth look at the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980’s that revolutionized the game of college football- and really the hip-hop culture in sports- for that matter.
 
Judging by the previews I’ve seen, where there is plenty of army fatigues, touchdown dances, Luther Campbell and Jimmy Johnson, this two-hour feature which is produced by a pair of University of Miami grads, Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman, looks like a winner. This duo also did ’Cocaine Cowboys’- which was not about the Dallas Cowboys of the 90’s- but the drug culture that infiltrated South Florida in the ’70 and ’80’s.
 
There will never, ever be another era quite like this one in college football. Those renegade Canes truly were one-of-a-kind and they ran roughshod over anyone that stepped in their path. My DVR will be working overtime on Saturday night. Being the sentimental sort that I am, I might even shed a tear or three.
 
But fellas, one question, did the Japanese, sit down and have dinner.....
 
SQUARE KO’S
 
It wasn’t the best week for Square Ring, which not only saw it’s signature fighter, Roy Jones, get stopped in one frame in Australia by Danny Green. But their ignominious week was capped off when Dmitriy Salita, was stopped in 76 seconds by Amir Khan for the WBA jr. welterweight title on Saturday in Newcastle, England.
 
How Salita was ever put as the mandatory challenger is beyond me. His record was the very definition of soft and built-up. And while Peterson is an example of the system working, as it relates to the ranking system of the sanctioning organizations and mandatory contenders, Salita, was/is an example of why so many deride it. The bottom line is that he had no business being rated in the top ten- much less number one- and he was hopelessly out-classed.
 
As for Square Ring, well, I guess now they can focus all their attention on the burgeoning career of BJ Flores.
 
FURTHER REVIEW
 
While everyone is up in arms over the 119-110 scorecard rendered by one Pierre Benoist, that unfortunately has cast a dark shadow over the spirited clash between Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez this past weekend in Atlantic City, I found it interesting that the other two judges, Lynne Carter and Julie Lederman, both gave round one- where both fighters were knocked down- to Paul Williams by a score of 10-9. Benoist, ironically, scored that round even.
 
Interesting, since it seemed like of the two knockdowns, Martinez’s was much cleaner of a punch and did more damage of the two. Carter had Williams up 115-113 and Lederman had it a draw at 114-114, both very reasonable scores, this bout was closely contested anyway you look at it.
 
But if that round is flipped for Martinez, this fight becomes a spit decision draw.
 
Lou DiBella was relatively placid about the decision on early Sunday morning and talked of making sure his man, Martinez, would get back on HBO as soon as possible, with or without Williams, who was pretty banged up. But as he finally got wind of the official scorecards from  the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, ’Mt Saint’ DiBella erupted in the afternoon.
 
Simply put, he had one of his classic volcanic outbursts. Good thing no kids were nearby. Young and innocent ears shouldn’t have had to have listened to the diatribe that I got to hear. But I can’t say that I blame him, either.
 
CHAVEZ JR
 
It was announced that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had tested positive for the banned substance, Flurosemide, in the wake of his ten round victory over Troy Rowland on the Pacquiao-Cotto undercard on November 14Th.
 
Flurosemide is a diuretic and can be used as a masking agent for other illegal performance enhancing drugs. Looking at the physique of Chavez, I’ll make the assumption he’s not on HGH or steroids, but he certainly has had problems at the scales. But seriously, if you’re going to use this stuff, shouldn’t your body at least look like the one of a professional prizefighter? But then again, even with these substances, you still need a good work ethic to go along with them.
 
Don’t know what the penalty will be for Junior, but I hope it’s severe enough that he’s not anywhere near the Pacquiao-Mayweather undercard. This is becoming more and more of a fraudulent career.
 
FINAL FLURRIES
 
Speaking of built up records, couldn’t you just see Carson Jones exposing Tyrone Brunson from a mile away?...For the record, I thought Mauricio Herrera deserved the nod against Mike Anchondo on ShoBox...The job of game-planning and then making adjustments by Bama head man, Nick Saban, is one of the finest jobs of coaching I have ever seen. Like him or not, the man can flat out coach’em up. For the Tide, he could be the modern day Bear Bryant....Cincy-Pitt, might have been the best college football game I saw in 2009....Hey Charlie Weis, what did Carmelo Anthony say? No snitchin!! Why throw throw Pete Carroll under the bus for your ineptitude?...For the record, I think TCU should be in the national title game.....Are the days of Chris Arreola being at 250 a thing of the past? Funny thing was, he didn’t look all that bad at 263 against Brian Minto...The last edition of ’the Main Event’ featured Tim Bradley and Chris Arreola. Coming up this week will be Malignaggi and Peterson....Any questions or comments, you can email me at k9kim@yahoo.com.....Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing....


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