HBO seeks Bradley-Alexander showdown -- and Williams-Martinez rematch
Next week, Palm Springs' world junior-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (25-0, 11 knockouts) will fight unbeaten welterweight Carlos Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs) at Agua Caliente Resort Spa Casino in Rancho Mirage, but the HBO bout is a copreliminary of sorts in advance of a Bradley showdown with Don King's star junior-welterweight Devon Alexander early next year.
"We're very intrigued by that matchup between two of the best 140-pounders in the world; two young, in-their-prime, American studs," HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg told The Times on Wednesday.
Alexander (20-0, 13 KOs), the IBF and WBC champion, has an Aug. 7 date to keep in St. Louis against Andriy Kotelnik, but should both he and Bradley avoid an upset, Greenburg said "we have a slot the week before the Super Bowl -- prime real estate -- and this is a fight that would be very intriguing to place there."
Bradley's bout against Abregu will be his first on HBO after formerly starring on Showtime. The premium cable network has access to the top fighters in boxing's deepest division, including Amir Khan, Oxnard's Victor Ortiz, Marcos Maidana and the July 31 Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz winner. Ortiz is expected to fight Sept. 18 at Staples Center, likely against Vivian Harris, said Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy Promotions chief executive.
Greenburg also is pushing to stage a rematch between once-beaten Paul Williams and newly crowned middleweight champion Sergio Martinez on Oct. 2.
Williams defeated Martinez by majority decision in December in Atlantic City, and he proceeded to beat super-welterweight Kermit Cintron in a disputed technical decision in an accidental-fall-shortened fight in May while Martinez defeated Kelly Pavlik.
One of the obstacles could be Williams' promoter Dan Goossen's push to move the fighter back to 147 pounds to land a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao if their tentatively scheduled Nov. 13 fight can't be made. Neither has expressed interest in fighting the taller, constantly punching Williams.
Greenburg is also monitoring the future of WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto, who lost a chance to land a previously scrapped bout against Shane Mosley and is now seeking a foe. Demetrius Hopkins (30-1), who won Friday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, has called out Berto.
"Berto has to find a dance partner," Greenburg said.
Last week, Greenburg first told ESPN.com that he was no longer interested in the European dance partners of the heavyweight-champion Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali. He is declining to buy Wladimir's September fight against Alexander Povetkin.
"Certain heavyweight fights in this country would intrigue, like if [David] Haye or [Tomasz] Adamek were to fight a Klitschko, we'd be in the business," Greenburg said. "We only want big heavyweight fights that intrigue the American public. I don't feel like the Klitschko-Povetkin fight, in Germany on a six-hour delay, registers in this country."
-- Lance Pugmire