Lem Satterfield of RingTV.com is reporting that a bout is close to being made between WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, 29(12)-0, and IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson, 30(15)-1-1.
According to Satterfield:
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said contracts have been sent out to the camps of WBO welterweight titleholderTim Bradley and IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson for a potential HBO-televised bout from Marlins Park in Miami, Fla., on Dec. 15.
This would be Peterson's first fight since he won the IBF belt with a split decision victory over Amir Khan last December in front of an enthusiastically partisan Washington, D.C., crowd. In a move some regard as controversial, referee Joseph Cooper docked Khan two points each for pushing in Rounds 7 and 12.
The judges' scores were 113-112 twice for Peterson and 115-110 for Khan.
The two were scheduled to fight a rematch in May, but it had to be scrapped when Peterson came up positive on a PED test. Khan instead went on to lose to Danny Garcia via fourth-round TKO.
Bradley and Peterson have already fought, with Bradley winning a unanimous decision by scores of 118-110, 119-109 and 120-107 in December of 2009. Peterson was knocked down in the third.
This could not have been the year-ending fight Bradley and his people envisioned for him last June when he upset Manny Pacquiao in a highly controversial split decision. A decisive win over Peterson will be viewed by many as a rehash from three years ago.
Peterson is a fighter with heart who is going to come in desperate to earn redemption. It's a terrific opportunity for him.
For Bradley, the risk-to-reward ratio seems overly high, particularly for a fighter coming off a main event win in one of the year's major pay-per-view cards.
Expect Bob Arum to come hard with a storyline that pushes Peterson as an innocent victim of a flawed testing system. I heard him defend both Peterson and Andre Berto with similar language on a media call last May prior to the Bradley-Pacquiao fight.
Prior to his failed test, Peterson enjoyed a stellar reputation among boxing fans and writers, both for his in-ring grit and his inspiring, real-life Horatio Alger story. I think most people will be willing to give him a pass and welcome him back to the ring.
A stirring performance against Bradley inserts him back into the boxing conversations with emphasis.
Meanwhile, the man who benefited most from Peterson's misfortune, WBA and WBC champion Danny Garcia, 24(15)-0, has a rematch with Erik Morales in October, a legend, but also an aging fighter Garcia has already beaten decisively.
In an ideal world, he fights the winner of Bradley-Peterson next spring.