It’s pretty obvious that when possible opponents for Bradley came down to Lamont Peterson for a Dec. 15 date in Miami, it was time to consider taking a pass on that date. Their 2009 fight was so lopsided that there was never a demand to see a rematch. A Bradley-Peterson rematch could be an attractive fight later, but it certainly isn’t now. Peterson has been out of the ring for a year with his positive drug test and has no momentum coming in. Peterson has a possible fight with Zab Judah, and that might work out well for him right now.
As for Bradley, passing on Dec. 15 will open up even more attractive opponents for him. Several fight in the next few weeks, and wouldn’t have been available for Dec. 15.
Two leading candidates are fighting this weekend as the co-main event in Carson, Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios. Both guys have created huge buzz coming into their fight Saturday that could overshadow the main event. These two bruising brawlers have people anticipating this could be a classic in the tradition of Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. That’s huge praise. So having the winner face Bradley could provide an exciting fight fans will want to see.
Another possible opponent could be Paul Malignaggi, who defends his WBA welterweight belt next week in Brooklyn. Top Rank has been talking about hosting a fight in New York for Bradley, and Malignaggi could be the perfect opponent for Bradley. Yes, Bradley would be fighting in Malignaggi’s home turf, but the upside could be big with a victory. And it would be a unification bout, so Bradley could add another belt to his collection. Malignaggi has already been talking a lot of trash with the Bradley camp. The huge obstacle is that Malignaggi is with Golden Boy, and we know how it and Top Rank can’t work together.
Andre Berto is another attractive option for Bradley. A former world champion, Berto could provide an exciting fight. But in trying to book Berto for Dec. 15, there was some confusion as to which promotion company represents him — Golden Boy or Lou DiBella. My hunch is that Bradley’s camp wasn’t interested in fighting Berto in Miami. So why avoid Berto in Miami, but fight Malignaggi in New York? Because Malignaggi brings in a big crowd that would make it worthwhile. And he does have a belt, and Berto doesn’t.
And there is the Devon Alexander-Randal Bailey fight this weekend. Neither one would be at the top of Bradley’s list, but the winner will have the IBF title and that could change things depending on how interested Bradley is in collecting titles.
But on an even bigger picture, Bradley could also wait to see what happens in the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight, or the Miguel Cotto fight, both in December. Bradley said he would like to fight in January or February, but if he continues having problems finding an attractive opponent, it might be worth the wait.