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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Men Behaving Bradley?

A Quick Look at the Issues Raised by the Lawsuit Filed Against Junior Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley

Earlier this year, it appeared as if a “Desert Storm” was going to wreak havoc on the junior welterweight division, as WBO/WBC Junior Welterweight Champion Timothy (Desert Storm) Bradley, 27-0 (11 KOs), began to impose his will on his division’s fellow titleholders, starting with his January 29, 2011 technical decision win over then-WBC champion Devon (The Great) Alexander. While not a scintillating performance, Bradley’s domination of Alexander was expected to lead to a more compelling unification bout with former 2004 British Olympic silver medalist and current WBA Junior Welterweight Champion Amir Khan. Khan, fresh off of his tremendous war with Marcos (El Chino) Maidana and the methodical breakdown of Paul McCloskey, was expected to give Bradley the sternest test of his professional career in a battle for three of the four major junior welterweight crowns. Another battle, however, was reportedly beginning to brew behind the scenes which pitted Bradley and his manager, Cameron Dunkin, against his soon-to-be former promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson, with whom Bradley’s promotional agreement was expiring. Thus, as the negotiations for a Bradley-Khan fight languished on despite some exceptional concessions from the Khan camp, including an even split of the television money generated in Khan’s fan bases, it was widely whispered that Bradley may be looking to simply spike the ball and sit out the rest of his contract with Shaw and Thompson so that he can sign with Top Rank or another major promoter. What began was rampant speculation and rumor boiled over earlier this month into a Florida-venued lawsuit against Bradley and Dunkin in which Shaw and Thompson allege, among other claims, breach of contract and tortious interference in contractual relations in connection with their respective actions during the Khan negotiation. The inference that the lawsuit makes is that it was nothing more than bad faith and looking past their expiring promotional agreement with Shaw and Thompson that led Bradley and Dunkin to opt out of the Khan fight. But was this just a matter of Bradley behaving badly, or something less sinister? A quick look at the potential issues raised by Shaw and Thompson’s lawsuit follows...

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