Tim Bradley, WBC Bury Hatchet Before Devon Alexander Fight
WBC secretary general, Mauricio Sulaiman, told FanHouse that a long-running feud with WBO belt-holder Tim Bradley has been resolved, this, allowing Bradley to not only make the fourth defense of his title against southpaw WBC king Devon Alexander in an HBO televised, Jan. 29 junior welterweight (140 pounds) clash, but also, to win a championship from Alexander in victory.
"Yes, we're very happy that things are back to normal with Timothy. As we've always said, we have a very personal feeling for him and we're very happy now that everything is okay," said Sulaiman, the son of WBC president, Jose Sulaiman. "Any misunderstandings from the past were cleared and so now, the fight will be for both championships -- the WBC and the WBO. So he's right on schedule."
Devon Alexander-Tim Bradley 'Face-Off' With Max Kellerman
Alexander-Bradley Winner 'Merits' Pacquiao, Mayweather, Marquez
HBO's Ring Life On Tim Bradley
HBO's Ring Life On Devon Alexander
HBO Boxing: Alexander Vs. Bradley Look Ahead
HBO Boxing: Alexander And Bradley Greatest Hits
Camp Notes: WBO Champ Tim Bradley
Devon Alexander: Tim Bradley Has Called Out The Devil
Tim Bradley Won't Let Flu Slow Him For Devon Alexander
International Experts Pick Devon Alexander-Bradley Winner
The 27-year-old Bradley (26-0, 11 knockouts) had refused to pay the WBC's sanctioning fee against Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs), this, stemming from a grudge that he has held since April of 2009, when the WBC stripped Bradley of the crown he had earned with a May, 2008 split-decision over Junior Witter.
"So, yes he will pay the three percent sanctioning fee for the WBO and the WBC," said Bradley's promoter, Gary Shaw. "My reaction and my feeling is that I think that it's wonderful that the WBC has chosen to recognize him as the great fighter that Tim Bradley is and that he is now being given the chance to fight for the title."
Earlier in the month of April of 2009, Bradley had twice gotten off of the canvas to dethrone Kendall Holt (25-4, 13 KOs) as WBO champ. Ironically, Bradley was stripped of the WBC title because he refused to face Alexander prior to the organization's mandated deadline.
"It was last week that basically things got back to the point where all of the misunderstandings were cleared up. But it's been a process where many dear people who care for the betterment of boxing talked to each other," said Mauricio Sulaiman.
"We talked to Timothy and his people, and, so, it has been a process," said Sulaiman. "And now, nothing is held against nobody. We're just happy and we're looking forward to the fight on January 29."
Shaw said that the problem was resolved after conversations between the Sulaimans and Bradley's manager, Cameron Dunkin.
"The last that I had heard, Timothy did not want to fight for the WBC title. In fact, he wrote that he was not fighting for it and that he did not want to fight for it," said Shaw.
"But as far as I know Cameron Dunkin spoke to Mauricio Suliaman at a fight, and they had a discussion," said Shaw. "And then, I guess that Cameron went back and spoke to Timmy and they worked it out and now he's decided to fight for the title and to pay the sanctioning fee."
During a Jan. 11 interview with FanHouse, Bradley gave the first indication that he was ready to bury the hatchet with the WBC.
"Actually, the truth of the matter is that I would love to make things right with the WBC," said Bradley. "I would love to make things right with them. I would love for us to really sit down and talk and to squash all of this."
Bradley told FanHouse then that he would invite a personal dialogue with Jose Sulaiman.
"I would just go up to him and say, 'Man, this is foolish. This is foolish and childish and we need to talk like men instead of putting stuff out through the media to try to slander each other.' I'd be like, you know, 'Let's talk. Let's talk about this' You know, 'What has happened in the past is in the past,'" said Bradley, who is nicknamed, "The Desert Storm."
"I'd say, you know, 'Please forgive me, and I'll forgive you and let's move on, because this is not helping the sport at all.' You know, a lot of people are saying, 'You chose not to do it, Tim,' and they're absolutely right. Because I didn't have two feet to stand on at the end of the day," said Bradley. "If I'm not solid and I'm being wishy-washy, you know, I can't be that way. If I'm that way, then they're not going to respect me. And I want to be respected. That's the biggest thing. I want to be respected. Maybe after this fight, we can squash this and we can move on."
Apparently, that has been done.
Alexander, who is promoted by Don King and previously was the only two-belt champion in the weight class, has been stripped of his IBF crown for facing Bradley instead of that IBF's designated No. 1 contender, Kaizer Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KOs), of South Africa, who, instead, is pursuing that group's vacant crown against former titlist Zab Judah (40-6, 27 KOs).