Timothy Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao in June, so to speak. He was awarded the split decision, but anyone who witnessed the fight believed Pacquiao deserved the victory.
A big-money rematch was supposed to be in order for Bradley. But Pacquiao decided to move on, leaving Bradley still in search of a significant pay day – and exposure.
Welll, he will apparently get one of the two on December 15, Top Rank’s Bob Arum said Bradley will defend his title “against a top-ranked, well-known welterweight” at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla., as the main event of an HBO card.
Arum would not divulge Bradley’s opponent because he said the opponent has agreed to terms but has yet to sign his contract. Sources told Yahoo! Sports that HBO has checked into former champion Andre Berto’s availability and is pushing for the fight.
However, it is no guarantte Berto will be the opponent. Berto is advised by Al Haymon, and Haymon and Arum rarely work together.
The show will be the first boxing event held at the $515 million baseball stadium. In 1982, Arum promoted Alexis Arguello-Aaron Pryor I, one of the greatest fights in boxing history, in the Orange Bowl. Marlins Park sits on the site of the old Orange Bowl.
Arum said the stadium will be configured to seat between 20,000 and 25,000 fans.
“Miami has been a great boxing town for a long time, and this is an opportunity for us to bring big-time boxing back there,” Arum said.
He added he will fill the card with fighters who will appeal to the Miami audience. He said WBA super bantamweight champion , a two-time gold medalist for Cuba, would headline the undercard.
Arum said another Cuban boxing star, Yuriorkis Gamboa, would likely fight on the Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
“I don’t have space for both of them [Rigondeaux and Gamboa] on Dec. 15, so I’ll put one on Dec. 8 and the other on Dec. 15,” Arum said.
Bradley defeated Pacquiao on June 9 in Las Vegas via a highly controversial split decision that prompted Arum to call for the Nevada attorney general to investigate.There was a rematch clause, but it was at Pacquiao’s option, and Pacquiao declined it to accept a fourth bout with Marquez. Pacquiao told Yahoo! Sports his reason for doing so was that a fight with Marquez would be more lucrative financially and would be more entertaining stylistically.
That left Bradley without a big fight, but headlining a show in a baseball stadium will be significant.