Will Rift Between Timothy Bradley and Bob Arum Put December Fight in Jeopardy?

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2012

It seems Bradley's December fight is in jeopardy.
It seems Bradley's December fight is in jeopardy.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley's December date at Marlins Park in Miami appears to be in serious jeopardy, according to his promoter Bob Arum.

And Arum, for one, doesn't seem too happy about it.

"Bradley may not fight this year, that's what we're hearing from his manager," Arum told Robert Morales of Boxingscene.com.

"It may be his foot or whatever, but he may wait until next year to fight. That's up to him."

Bradley's manager, Cameron Dunkin, confirmed that the fighter is still troubled by the foot injury and expects to know soon whether he will be able to make the Dec. 15 date. 

Various opponents had been explored for the fight, including attractive options such as WBC interim welterweight champion Robert Guerrero and former champion Andre Berto.

It was reported last week that Bradley would face junior welterweight belt-holder Lamont Peterson in a rematch of their one-sided 2009 bout.

Berto appeared ready to jump to junior middleweight, and Guerrero was a tough negotiation due to the troubled relationship between Arum and Golden Boy Promotions. The two companies have what can be best described as a contentious, and often outright hostile relationship with one another. 

The timing of this appears suspect for a number of reasons.

For one, Bradley did not seem bothered by his foot injury when he spent the last four months sprinting after Manny Pacquiao for a rematch. 

It isn't often that the fighter declared the victor of a fight is this insistent about a rematch.

But given the firestorm of criticism that came with the decision—and the fact that Bradley would make more money against Pacquiao than in five fights with Berto, Guerrero and Peterson—this makes sense.

It also seems that Bradley is looking to get back at Arum for not helping him secure the rematch, and instead helped Pacquiao pursue a fourth fight with rival Juan Manuel Marquez in December. 

Both Pacquiao and Bradley are promoted by Arum, with one being at worst the second-grossing fighter in the sport, and the other barely a blip on the radar screen in terms of earning potential. 

Arum was also openly critical of the decision in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight (as was most of the air-breathing world), but this must not have sat well with "Desert Storm." 

Bradley could also be looking to make what he hopes is a smooth business calculation. Manny Pacquiao is fighting in December. Pacquiao hopes to win that fight and then move on to the long anticipated fight of the decade against Floyd Mayweather Jr. sometime next year.

But as most boxing fans would agree—we'll believe it when we see it. And if a fight with Mayweather cannot be made, then who does Pacquiao—or even Marquez for that matter—turn to for their next fight?

Bradley would seem to be a logical choice, and he has had a reputation of ducking fights in order to hit the lottery down the road.

Before signing on to take the fight with Pacquiao, Bradley denied an offer to face Amir Khan, instead electing to fight a beyond shot Joel Casamayor. Bradley won the fight easily, and cashed his lotto ticket in the next fight against Pacquiao. 

Perhaps Bradley is thinking that there is no need to face even Lamont Peterson, a man he soundly defeated in their first match, with a potentially lucrative rematch on the horizon next year. Why take the chance?

If this is the case, it wouldn't be the first time for "Desert Storm" to do something along these lines.

Or maybe there really is a rift between Bradley and Arum. There is ample evidence to make such a reasonable conclusion.

Arum says the Dec. 15 card in Miami will go on with or without Bradley. But it probably won't matter. They weren't going to fill 37,000 seats either way.