Tim Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs) took a bit of risk, stepping up into the land of the welterweights for the first time in his career to fight undefeated power puncher Luis Carlos Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs).
But it's clear Bradley is trying to test the waters. A good showing against Abregu could bode well for his future intentions.
Through six rounds, it's been nearly all Bradley. Is jab and left hook have been on the money for much of the bout. Outside of a lapse in defense in round four, Bradley has been flawless. But he can't rest, because Abregu can bring the heat when the need arises. After six rounds: Bradley 59, Abregu 55.
Through nine rounds, Bradley is in control. Defensively, Bradley has been nearly untouchable. Even Abregu's solid shots don't seem to effect Bradley, who's rarely off balance. Bradley had a chance to maybe finish Abregu after an accidental headbutt seemed to stun Abregu for a bit. Bradley peppered him with combos, but Abregu held on. Abregu came back with a strong eighth round, but Bradley answered with a solid ninth to stay in command. After nine rounds: Bradley 88, Abregu 83.
ROUND 10: Bradley looked a little vulnerable, but Abregu just hasn't landed enough punches to make him sweat. Abregu had a chance to win the round, but Bradley stole it with a solid combo that ended with a solid right hook. Bradley wins the round, 10-9. Bradley leads after 10 rounds: 98-92.
ROUND 11: Bradley has been allowed to pick and choose what he wants the entire fight. Nothing changed in round 11 as he ducked in and out with left-right combos. He made a big statement with a hard right to Abregu's head with about 20 seconds left in the round. Bradley wins the round, 10-9. Bradley leads after 11 rounds: 108-101.
ROUND 12: It was another breeze for Bradley. He was very impressive, especially considering he gave up over three inches in height. Overall, Bradley gets a ton of credit for taking on a bigger and stronger fighter in Abregu. The lack of girth, weight and height did not effect his performance. Bradley wins the round and the fight: 118-110.
The judges scored the bout, 118-110, 116-112, 117-111.
Bradley made his ultimate plans known: "I'm challenging Manny Pacquiao," he told Max Kellerman after the fight. "Come break down this wall, baby."
Analysis: It was Bradley's fight to lose. Abregu just couldn't land enough meaningful shots to hurt Bradley. Bradley improves to 26-0, 11 KOs, while Abregu drops to 29-1, 23 KOs.
What's in Bradley's future is anyone's guess. Everyone would love to see him take on Devon Alexander. That's a fight that could happen if Alexander prevails against Andriy Kotelnik on August 7.
Of course Bradley's handlers would love to see him stay at welterweight and take on Floyd Mayweather of Manny Pacquiao. The odds of that happening are pretty slim right now. As good a fighter as Bradley is, his name doesn't get the juices flowing. He's an excellent fighter, but he's not a knockout artist and doesn't have the flare for the dramatic.
That alone shouldn't preclude Bradley form a big time fight against Mayweather or Pacquiao. But these days, it's all about the money. Bradley just doesn't have the name or the following to draw such a prize fight.