Timothy Bradley hopes to continue his march back to the top when he faces Brandon Rios on November 7th at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Not a Title Fight

That bout however may not be for a world title as was earlier announced by Top Rank, who promotes both fighters. Bradley was recently give full champion status by the WBO after Floyd Mayweather officially vacated the belt he won from Manny Pacquiao last May. But Bradley, who won the interim title with a 12-round UD win over Jessie Vargas last June, was ordered by the WBO to a title fight against mandatory challenger #1 Sadam Ali. The WBO decreed that they will only sanction the Bradley-Rios bout should Ali agree to step aside and face the winner. Apparently, Golden Boy and Ali have other plans and are not interested in receiving a hefty bounty to wait for the winner. As it stands, the Bradley-Rios tussle isn’t a title fight, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be exciting. Bradley and Rios are two of the big-named fighters in boxing’s talent rich 147-pound weight class. Rios’ reckless and come-forward mentality should complement Bradley’s high-paced and all-action style. Both fighters have recently been on the downside but are one step closer to returning to the mainstream.

Redemption Road

Timothy Bradley went through hell after beating Manny Pacquiao in a highly controversial 12-round bout in 2012 and went to the point of fighting recklessly against Ruslan Provodnikov in his next fight to prove himself. Bradley beat Provo by UD in the Ring’s 2013 Fight of the Year but he almost paid dearly for it by almost getting knocked out. His next fight was against Pacman rival Juan Manuel Marquez whom he defeated by split decision. But still, the stigma of the Pacquiao fight refused to go away. There was only one way to erase it and that was to face Pacquiao again and beat him once and for all. The rematch happened in 2014 but it was Pacquiao who got the win and his revenge while Bradley was searching for redemption. The win against Vargas was a step closer to that goal, the fight against Rios should take him back to the top.

Getting a Second Chance

Rios himself should be looking at this fight as his second chance. After beating nemesis Mike Alvarado via 7th round TKO in Sport’s Illustrated’s 2012 Fight of the Year, he went 0-2 in 2013 and ended up getting suspended after failing a post-fight drug test following his encounter against Manny Pacquiao in Macau. 2014 was no better for Rios as his lone fight against Diego Gabriel Chaves turned out to be a very ugly DQ win. Rios’ career got a shot in the arm last January when he knocked out Alvarado in his hometown to win their grudge match and the minor WBO international welterweight title. But Rios failed to follow up that big win as it seemed he got “frozen” by his promoter. He was linked to a bout against IBF Welterweight champion Kell Brook but a dispute in the rematch clause killed that bout. When Bradley’s name was floated, Rios immediately took the bait as this could be the big break he’s long waited for.

Who Takes This?

Without a doubt, this fight will not be short of action and that is a guarantee. If styles make fights then this one should have Fight of the Year written all over it. Both men have been involved in former Fight of the Year winners and this one will surely not disappoint. Skill-wise however, it’s Tim Bradley who has the advantage. He is a more polished boxer who has the better technique. But we all know that Rios is all-heart and pure energy. He never backs down from any challenge and will surely take the fight to Bradley. It’s interesting to see what gives here.

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