Top Rank announced today it has signed undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley, Jr. to an exclusive long-term promotional contract. The Top 10 pound-for-pound fighter will be making his Top Rank debut in the feature bout under the Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Márquez III World Welterweight Championship, on Saturday, November 12, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Televised live on pay-per-view, Bradley will be defending his world title against two-division world champion and former Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor (38-5-1, 22 KOs) of Miramar, Fla.
“Tim’s incredible accomplishments against Alexander, Holt and Peterson have cemented him as one of the marquee fighters in the world. We look forward to working with him and further developing this chapter of his career,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.
“I’m just so happy. I don’t know what to say man. I’m so excited,” Bradley told The Desert Sun. “My main objective was to get a promoter to build the Bradley brand, and Top Rank is good at doing that. That’s why we chose Top Rank. It’s a wonderful feeling to be fighting in Vegas, especially at the MGM. All the greats fought there. Tons of great fighters fought there, and I’ll be another one to add to the list.”
What It Means
Of course, Bradley moving to the Top Rank has been no secret, and his scheduled fight with Joel Casamayor wasn’t much of a secret either. Bradley-Casamayor isn’t a marquee fight, and honestly, it’s bound to be an ugly, foul-filled affair.
The real significance then is that Bradley will be co-featured and spotlighted underneath the Pacquiao vs. Marquez III bout. His whole reasoning behind signing with Top Rank was really to chase a fight with Pacquiao, and being shown here on the same card is a clear indicator from Top Rank and Bob Arum that Bradley is next in line for the winner.
It’s a way to get Bradley some direct exposure and comparison on a Pacquiao pay-per-view, which figures to have at least 1 million PPV buys. It will then be a much easier sell to put Bradley in the ring with Pacquiao next year, so nobody should be surprised when that’s Top Ranks plan 1B, assuming the dream fight with Floyd Mayweather doesn’t come off.