By Ryan Maquiñana
Boxingscene.com was advised Thursday night that welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley will return to the ring on Dec. 15 at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City, according to the fighter’s manager, Cameron Dunkin.
Dunkin was presented with three potential foes to choose from, with one of them being Russian Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KOs), a 140-pound contender coming off a second-round stoppage of Jose Reynoso in June. The other two opponents have not yet been identified. Dunkin met with Top Rank officials on Friday regarding the matter.
Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) is three months removed from his stunning yet controversial upset of Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) where the resident of Palm Springs, Calif., suffered ligament damage in both feet.
However, instead of pursuing a rematch, Pacquiao has reportedly opted for a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Now Bradley will defend his new belt one week after Pacquiao-Marquez IV.
"My thoughts on the whole selection process was that I didn't like the whole waiting around and the whole running around thing that Pacquiao did,” Bradley told Lem Satterfield of Ring Magazine. “So, we all know that Manny's truly afraid to fight me again.”
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.