Tim Bradley and Lamont Peterson Fight Close to Done

Briggs SeekinsFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  Timothy Bradley has his hand raised in victory after defeating Manny Pacquiao by split decision to win the WBO welterweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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.