As the boxing world awaits Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s next move, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez have set a Sept. 14 date to fight at the Thomas & Mack Center.
But according to Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, if Mayweather decides to return to the ring that night, Bradley-Marquez will be pushed back, probably to Oct. 12 in Las Vegas. The fight, which would be for Bradley’s WBO welterweight title, will be televised on HBO Pay Per View.
“Tim’s excited,” Dunkin said. “Now that the contracts are signed and we know we have a fight, he’s anxious to face Marquez, who is a future Hall of Famer and a great fighter in his own right.”
Both have wins over Manny Pacquiao. Bradley, whose 2012 split decision victory at the MGM Grand sparked controversy inside and outside the sport, wasn’t going to wait for Pacquiao to give him a rematch. Pacquiao will fight Brandon Rios in Macau in November.
“Why wait when you can fight someone of Marquez’s stature?” Dunkin said. “Who knows how things with Manny would have played out? But Tim wanted Marquez, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
Dunkin said he was waiting to hear from Top Rank president Todd duBoef, whose company will promote the fight. DuBoef recently said that if Mayweather fights Sept. 14, Top Rank would come off the date.
“I’m guessing they’re waiting on Floyd to see what his intentions are,” Dunkin said. “All I know is we have a contract to fight Marquez, and we’re going to fight. It may be on the 14th. It may be October. But they are going to fight.”
■\u2007RUIZ READY — Undefeated heavyweight Andy Ruiz, who faces Carl Davis in an eight-round bout on Top Rank’s card June 8 at the Hard Rock Hotel, hopes to take a major step forward in his career.
Ruiz (18-0, 12 knockouts) has been training in Las Vegas with Big Jeff Grmoja, trying to sharpen up his head and foot movement and pick up his hand speed for his bout with Davis (16-5, 12 KOs).
“I am doing all of this to win the world heavyweight championship,” Ruiz said. “I have good chemistry with my team, and I will make the sacrifices to become one of the few instead of one of the dreamers.”
Grmoja, who spends most of his time promoting fighters rather than training them, took on Ruiz in August as a favor to his manager, Joe Gagliardi.
“When Joe asked me, I came out of retirement to help Andy,” Grmoja said. “We have been working on improving Andy’s skills. I am not a believer in making unnecessary changes. Rather, I want to perfect the skills Andy has and develop a style best suited for him.”
■\u2007TEXAS CARD — Top Rank also will host a card July 12 at Texas Station that ESPN will televise as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series.
Two 10-round bouts will headline the card. Super bantamweights Chris Avalos (21-2, 16 KOs) and Drain Francisco (24-1-1, 19 KOs) will meet, and super welterweights Glen Tapia (18-0, 10 KOs) and Abie Han (19-0, 12 KOs) will fight.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.