Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO World welterweight title on Nov. 7 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas against former lightweight champion Brandon Rios.
The fight will be televised on regular HBO.
For Bradley, his first step is to find a new trainer.
Boxers and trainers split up all the time, but when we are speaking about competition at the world-class level, that’s a rarity. Earlier this week, the once dynamic duo of Timothy Bradley and Joel Diaz called it quits.
Legendary trainer Teddy Atlas and highly-respected trainer Buddy McGirt are possible replacements according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
Not only was Diaz caught off guard, but he found Bradley’s actions to be selfish. He spoke exclusively with Fight Hype’s Luis Sandoval and when the topic of Teddy Atlas came up as a possible replacement, Diaz let it loose.
“It’s not going to work. In order for anybody to work with Bradley, they need to adapt to every single person around Bradley,” he explained.
Diaz explained that Bradley allowed too many people to have an influence on his decision making, and it became difficult to even access his fighter just to do simple things, like checking up on his fighter, because there were so many people Diaz had to get through.
If Diaz’s speech holds true, does a Teddy Atlas or a Buddy McGirt sound like a couple of guys that would be able to adapt to the hazardous environment that Diaz described?
Would any professional trainer be able to succeed in that type of environment for that matter?
Distractions or not, we’re in for a good fight according to Top Rank President, Todd duBoef.
“We think we have a terrific fight,” said duBoef via Las Vegas-Review Journal. “These guys are perfect for each other. They are action fighters who like to come forward, and it’s probably the best non-pay-per-view fight out there.”
Bradley’s wife and manager, Monica, finalized the deal for the Rios fight in conjunction with duBoef.
“We’ve been working on this for quite a while, and we’re glad to have it done,” duBoef said. “This is a fight that both Tim and Brandon wanted, and I’m pleased we were able to bring it to Las Vegas.”
Rios was in line for a shot at the IBF title against Kell Brook this summer, but when Eddie Hearn, Brook’s promoter at Matchroom Sport, demanded a rematch clause, negotiations fell through.
Rios is coming off a third-round stoppage of a shot and totally unprepared Mike Alvarado in a trilogy match this past January while Bradley is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jessie Vargas to claim what was initially the interim WBO welterweight belt before Floyd Mayweather was stripped of the world title.
Bradley will have to clear his head, move on, and prepare for a fight which is just over two months away.
Bradley-Rios will be the first boxing match in the newly-renovated Thomas & Mack Center, which is in the process of a $72 million renovation.
Ironically, the last time the venue hosted boxing was in October 2013 when Bradley defeated Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision to defend his WBO World welterweight belt for the second time.
“We’re excited about being the first boxing event in the new Thomas & Mack,” duBoef said. “We’ve had many great fights in that building over the years, and this will be right up there with the best of them. It’s a great way to help close out what’s been a great year for boxing.”
Fire against fire. The intriguing part about this matchup is whether Bradley can take it. We’ve seen Bradley hit the floor, we’ve seen him look like he’s about to get killed, and he miraculously fights through everything.
Rios enjoys being hit to the face. He encourages it, so Bradley is REALLY going to have to dig to win this fight, but if he does… it’s going to pay huge dividends.
This all goes down Nov 7th and the stakes couldn’t be higher!