By Rick Reeno
According to sources who are close to the negotiations, the proposed junior welterweight unification between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander, which is scheduled for the tentative date of January 29 on HBO, is in serious jeopardy of falling apart.
BoxingScene.com spoke to multiple parties with knowledge of the ongoing situation. There appears to be an internal dispute taking place between Bradley and his promoter Gary Shaw.
Bradley's promotional contract with Shaw is reportedly set to expire in May 2011. In order to finalize the deal for the Alexander fight, Shaw wants Bradley to sign a contract extension. However, Bradley is refusing to sign the contract extension because he wants to explore his options and review potential offers from other promoters.
There are no outstanding issues between Shaw and Bradley. The entire situation comes down to normal business practices. Like any athlete with a contract set to expire, Bradley wants to see which party, including Shaw, is going to provide him with best possible offer.
In the case of Shaw, he wants to protect himself by securing one of his star fighters, and preventing a competitor from snatching him away. Nobody can blame Shaw for taking this position. Shaw, along with Thompson Boxing, built Bradley up, but at the same time Bradley does have the right to explore his options in order to maximize his earning potential. The situation is similar, and some people may call it identical, to Bradley's recent network jump from Showtime to HBO, because the earning potential and fight possibilities were better on the other side of the fence.
There have been industry rumblings that Bradley has been in contact with Golden Boy Promotions about a potential future working relationship. Sources close to Golden Boy, and Bradley's team, have denied the rumblings. BoxingScene was informed that Shaw sent a letter to Golden Boy advising them that Bradley was still under contract and to cease any possible communications between the two parties.