Timothy Bradley Taking a Step Back by Pursuing Rematch with Lamont Peterson
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This news comes despite the fact that a purse bid was held, and won, by Barry Hunter, for a title fight between Peterson and Zab Judah later this year. The purse bid was for the IBF minimum of $50,000 and is almost certain not to be accepted.
Hunter is the manager and trainer of Lamont Peterson.
With news that the purse bid would likely not be accepted, there are reports that Team Peterson are locked in intense negotiations with Timothy Bradley for his Dec. 15 fight in Miami at Marlins Park.
If this fight comes off, it would be a rematch of a December 2009 fight, which was absolutely dominated wire-to-wire by Bradley.
It would also represent a huge step back for a fighter who is obviously talented but has been unable to cash-in on his ridiculous victory over Manny Pacquiao in June.
In choosing Peterson over such new names as Robert Guerrero or Andre Berto, Bradley and his team are taking a massive step back.
Nobody is arguing that Lamont Peterson isn't a talented fighter. But we've seen this show before, and the first act wasn't close.
Peterson was dropped in the third round by the light-hitting "Desert Storm," and he lost by lopsided scores of 118-110, 119-108 and 120-107. In other words, a virtual wipeout. Nothing here suggests the need, or desire, for a rematch.
Who should Timothy Bradley face next?
A clear parallel would be the recent fight between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Martinez dominated all but 90 seconds of the fight.
In those 90 seconds, he was knocked down and nearly stopped. For that reason, and that alone, the public is interested in a rematch. If not for that, nobody, literally nobody, would care to see that fight a second time.
Peterson didn't have any of those moments against Bradley. He didn't knock him down, nor did he come close to dramatically stopping him.
He's also lucky to even have this opportunity. His last fight, a victory over Amir Khan, in which he captured the IBF title, is shrouded in all sorts of controversy.
For one thing, Peterson's margin of victory on the scorecards was entirely made up by a pair of spurious, and really ludicrous, point deductions against Khan for pushing—a foul rarely if ever penalized.
Then there were the various reports, including photos released by Khan and Golden Boy Promotions, that showed an unidentified man improperly talking to the judges.
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The man, later identified by the IBF as Mustafa Ameen, also passed papers to the judges during the fight, and was photographed with a celebrating Peterson in the ring after the fight.
Then, of course, there is the fact that Lamont Peterson tested positive for testosterone after the fight.
While he maintained it wasn't used for performance-enhancing purposes, and was in fact used under medical supervision, this still leaves another stain on an already highly controversial victory.
Peterson was suspended for the infraction and hasn't fought since his December win over Khan.
Mind you, none of this is intended to bury the career of Lamont Peterson. Like all people, he deserves a second chance. He just shouldn't be getting it against Bradley.
And this is the fight Timothy Bradley and his team, led by manager Cameron Dunkin and trainer Joel Diaz, are trying to sell to the public?
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There is at least one better option out there; two if you count Berto, though he appears headed for a November date with Cornelius Bundrage.
Interim WBC welterweight champion Robert Guerrero.
Guerrero moved to welterweight earlier this year and captured the interim WBC crown with a unanimous decision over Selcuk Aydin. He's since been publicly calling for a big fight, calling out such names as Bradley, Adrien Broner and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"The Ghost" is a young, slick southpaw who stylistically would make a very interesting and competitive fight against Bradley. It also has the added bonus of being a virtual unification bout, with Floyd Mayweather Jr. unlikely to defend the WBC title anytime soon.
Joel Diaz, who trains Bradley and has recently become the team's attack dog, was publicly critical of a potential fight with Guerrero last week, calling it a step back after facing Manny Pacquiao.
If Guerrero is a step back, then what is a fight with a guy you already shut out, and who was recently suspended for PEDs after getting a win he probably didn't deserve?
Bradley would be doing himself no favors if if accepts this fight.
If this fight goes forward, it will be his career going backward.
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