Four division champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico could be headed for a December date with two division champion Timothy Bradley.
What’s in A Weight Class?
After moving up in weight to face Sergio Martinez at 160 lbs last June 7th, newly crowned WBC and Ring Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto is now being groomed by his promoter, Top Rank, to fight Bradley- a welterweight at best, in a December showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York USA. Nothing is official yet, but word is that the Bradley camp is being offered a catch weight of 156 lbs to take the fight.
Should the fight happen, Bradley will be competing for the first time in a weight class two ranks higher than his own. If the bout is for Cotto’s WBC and Ring belts, Bradley will become an unranked fighter challenging for the title, bypassing the Top 15 ranked middleweight fighters to get a shot at Cotto. And while Arum thinks it’s a good business prospect, it will be a mockery of sorts for boxing’s weight classes which were put in place to give fighters equal chances of winning a boxing match. Worse, if ever Bradley wins the bout, it would be interesting to see if he would defend it against regular middleweight contenders or vacate it immediately.
Deserting the Storm
Bradley is coming off an April 12th loss to Filipino ring legend Manny Pacquiao, in a rematch of their June 9th, 2012 encounter. Bradley was awarded a split decision victory Pacquiao in their first fight although most ring insiders concur that Pacman beat Bradley handily. In their rematch, Pacquiao used superior hand speed and footwork to pick apart Bradley and take away his WBO Welterweight title. The loss was the first in 33 fights for the 30 year old Californian pug.
Bradley has only 12 KOs in his career and although his ability to take a punch is unquestioned, Bradley had problems with the power punching of Pacquiao and former WBO Light Welterweight king Ruslan Provodnikov. Those problems were more obvious against Provodnikov when Bradley got concussed in the second round of their bout.
Mr. “Desert Storm” even was counted by the referee in Round 12 as he took a knee after getting hammered hard by the “Siberian Rocky. Luckily, Bradley won the middle rounds by boxing around the hard hitting Provodnikov. In the end, the judges favored Bradley’s activity rather than Provodnikov’s power punches and awarded Bradley the “W”.
The main concern about Bradley will be his ability to take punishment from a much bigger man like Cotto. Even Manny Pacquiao fought Cotto at a catch weight of 145 lbs when the two met in November 14th, 2009. Cotto is even heavier now, as he has moved up from welterweight to light middleweight and then middleweight. Bradley’s punches, which never really threatened any welterweight, may not even hurt Cotto at all.
PPV Numbers Down
This unbelievable proposition from Arum comes at the heels of the announcement of the PPV numbers of the Cotto-Martinez bout last month. According to HBO, the bout did only an estimated 350,000 buys on PPV, much lower than expected. The promoters were hoping a turn in of around 500,000 buys, considering Cotto’s huge Latino following.
Arum shot himself in the foot when he said that the reason for the decline in numbers was due to” too many PPV cards.” He said that back in the old days, PPV as was designed to for “true super fights and not just good fights.” It’s a wonder what he thinks about Cotto-Bradley at this point.
From the business standpoint, Bradley is not a good PPV player. His fights with Pacquiao and Marquez did not generate big numbers in the PPV market even if his opponents were two of the top PPV draws of today. It’s pretty certain that a fight against Cotto won’t do better.
Belonging to One Stable
Yet it won’t be a surprise to see the fight being made. After all, both fighters are under the umbrella of Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. Arum is also thinking two steps ahead of us. He believes that his reconciliation with Oscar De La Hoya will allow the fight between Cotto and Canelo Alvarez to materialize. Arum just doesn’t want to do that fight this year yet and wants to bridge Cotto to May of 2015. He plans on making more noise and money by pitting the two popular fighters during the Cinco De Mayo weekend.
The reconciliation of GBP and Top Rank was supposed to give the fans fights that they deserve. Nobody thinks that Bradley deserves a shot at Cotto, The fight that the world wants to see is Cotto-Golovkin.
Perhaps Tim Bradlesy should pick someone his own size.