Manny Pacquiao and Sean Payton help Krissy Kobata in search for bone marrow

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By Leighton Ginn

The campaign to find a bone-marrow match for Los Angeles woman Krissy Kobata continues to attract famous supporters.

On Aug. 17, boxing great Manny Pacquiao and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton tweeted their support of Kobata.

Pacquiao, the Boxer of the Decade and a senator in the Philippines, Tweeted out a link to the Asian American Sports Journalists story on Kobata, and followed up by Tweeting a link to Be The Match’s website. Be The Match is a national bone-marrow registry that also sends out kits for people to test themselves and register.

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Also joining the action was Payton, who coached the Saints to the Super Bowl title in 2010, when they beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.

Payton is represented by agent Don Yee, who is a family friend of Kobata.

“Don Yee, my agent, with the help of Sports Task Force is spreading the word about Krissy Kobata,” Payton posted, along with the same link to the Facebook story.

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The Sports Task Force, part of the Asian American Journalist Association, began spreading the word of Kobata’s search.

http://sportstaskforce.com/japanese-american-krissy-kobata-desperately-needs-bone-marrow-donor/

Half Japanese, half Caucasian, Kobata has been searching for a donor for a decade, but her ethnicity makes it difficult to find a match.

Yee, who established the Jimmie & Suey Fong Yee Scholarship in honor of his parents, asked the Sports Task Force to help share the story of Kobata’s situation.

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The group’s unofficial page, Asian American Sports Journalists, published a story on July 29 about Kobata. Through social media, the post had reached  51,805 on Facebook the morning of Aug. 14.

Later that day, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, also one of Yee’s clients, posted on his Facebook page about Kobata.

About an hour later, actress Chloe Bennet of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sent out five Tweets in a row about Kobata.

How Tom Brady’s Facebook post is spreading awareness for Krissy Kobata, who needs a bone marrow to live

Within 24 hours, Kobata’s Facebook post had reached over 1 million more people. Currently, the post has reached 1,170,526 on Aug. 17. There was also a story posted in USA Today’s For The Win.

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/08/tom-brady-patriots-facebook-nfl-agent-bone-marrow-donor-awareness-krissy-kobata

To learn more about Krissy, go to teamkrissy.com

If you want to register as a bone marrow donor, go to https://join.bethematch.org/teamkrissy

 

 

 

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Timothy Bradley announces retirement from boxing 

 

DSCN7143By Leighton Ginn

Five-time world champion Timothy Bradley announced Saturday he will retire from boxing, turning a page in his life that brought him international fame.

“Thank you for cheering me on when I didn’t deserve it, loving me most when I needed it and for being my heartbeat to keep going day after day. I am the man I am today because of you all,” Bradley said in a release.

Bradley’s full release is below.

There always comes a point in life where we have to make choices that no matter how much we know the right option, it still leaves us filled with mixed emotions.

Looking back at Timothy Bradley’s championship years

I have spent the past couple days trying to find the right words to describe this point in my life and no matter how long I sit and reflect, I still don’t know if these words can do my thoughts justice, but I’m going to do my best to open up my heart and share with all of you during this pivotal time.

How Timothy Bradley’s life intersected with 1968 Olympians George Foreman and John Carlos

It is no secret that a life of any professional athlete is not an easy one- yes it comes with a lot of fame and fortune but also comes with fear and fatigue. A balance that has to be achieved by ambition and maintained through perspective. For over twenty three years, Boxing gave me purpose and it defined me. Dedicated to my craft and fueled by my passion for the sport, my love for my team and my admiration for all of you who supported me day in and day out– I was able to give 100% of myself to be the best and to always get up when I was knocked down. It was the biggest challenge in my life but I embraced the sacrifice with every victory and milestone reached. Boxing gave me roots, it kept me off the streets, it gave me confidence, it taught me how to be a man and face every challenge head on and take the good with the bad. Yes I missed holidays, birthdays, even missed hearing some of my children’s first words but more than time, it took my blood, sweat and tears, all things I can never get back. Which is why turning the page for me is bittersweet. That once in a lifetime purpose to wake up everyday and give 100% is now fueled towards something else- my family. I find my strength in them, my peace and most importantly, unconditional love. I wake up wanting to spend all my time being a father, being a husband and being free. Although that square circle I lived to dance in everyday gave me so many smiles and blessings, it could never out weigh the smiles and blessings I receive from my wife and children. It’s now my turn to support them and encourage them to live their dreams and I couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter. I hope to continue to allow boxing in my world through teaching, commentating and being a fan of a sport I love so dearly.

New Timothy Bradley scores first knockout since 2011 against a guy who was never down in a fight

And to you, the diehard fans, man, it’s been one heck of a ride. The bumps, the bruises, the peaks, the valleys, the days I didn’t want to get out of bed and the nights I couldn’t sleep….So many occasions where my heart, mind and soul were tested but with every challenge there was hope and there was all of you…giving me the courage to fight another day and do what I loved to do. I can never find the words to convey how much I appreciate all of you and how truly humbled I am by the unconditional support the past 23 years, Thank you. Thank you for cheering me on when I didn’t deserve it, loving me most when I needed it and for being my heartbeat to keep going day after day. I am the man I am today because of you all.

Freddie Roach only sees two more fights for Manny Pacquiao before retiring (again)

By Leighton Ginn

Long-time trainer Freddie Roach said he only sees two more fights for his superstar, Manny Pacquiao before the Filipino senator walks away from boxing for good.

Pacquiao (58-6-2) returns to the ring for the first time since becoming a senator in May, facing WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1) on Nov. 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

In April, Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley in what Roach said was his best performance in ages. It was the third time Pacquiao had faced Bradley and the first time he knocked down the Desert Storm, doing it twice to earn a unanimous decision.

Although Pacquiao has had a compromised training schedule as he is juggling his busy senatorial duties, Roach said he feels confident going into the Vargas fight.

Beyond that fight, Roach doesn’t see the 37-year-old Pacquiao fighting more than one more time if he can secure a big-money fight.

The two names Roach said he’d like Pacquiao to take on are Canelo Alvarez and a rematch with the retired Floyd Mayweather.

“Get one of those big fights, fight that fight, and that’s it,” Roach said. “That’s my wishes.”

Roach said that scenario is dependent on how Pacquiao looks against Vargas. Win or lose, if Pacquiao looks bad, Roach said he might tell Pacquiao to hang it up.

“If he doesn’t slip, I still only want him to only have two more fights,” Roach said. “There’s nothing else he has to prove in boxing, in my mind.”

While Roach would like to see Pacquiao, who is a small fighter at the 147-pound welterweight division, take on super welterweight (154 pounds) champion Alvarez, promoter Bob Arum doesn’t like the matchup.

Arum said Pacquiao was sparring Ray Beltran, who fights at 135-pounds, and he was the bigger fighter.

Alvarez is the current box office king in boxing. While a Pacquiao-Alvarez fight would pit two big names, most fans have been clamoring for Alvarez to face Gennady Golovkin.

As far as Arum is concerned, he feels a fight between Pacquiao and super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.

“I would pay any amount of money to see Manny Pacquiao fight Lomachenko,” Arum said. “That for me would be a great, great, great fight.

“For me, I like guys who are almost like ballet dancers in the ring. Lomachenko is that, and so is Manny.”

Both Lomachenko and Crawford are promoted by Arum’s Top Rank.

One other fighter who has been discussed for Pacquiao is Adrien Broner. Arum said there had been negotiations, but fell apart because of Broner’s demands.

“Broner is out of his freakin’ mind,” Arum said. “We offered him a really good purse. We were maybe $100,000 apart. Broner then asked for 50 percent more than the purse we were talking about, which made it outlandish.

“Broner, there’s something mentally wrong with him.”

 

NOTE: Linda Ha contributed to this report.

 

Bob Arum blasts Don King for his endorsement of Donald Trump

By Leighton Ginn

HOLLYWOOD — Bob Arum has made it clear his distaste for Donald Trump, and he didn’t mince words long-time rival boxing promoter Don King, who has endorsed the GOP presidential candidate.

“He’s a traitor to his people,” Arum said on Oct. 26 during Manny Pacquiao’s Hollywood workout. “How can you back a bigot like Trump? And I tell you, Don King disgraced himself by being for Trump. And any of you people here who even think about voting for Trump should be ashamed of yourself.”

Arum has been a strong support for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Special correspondent Linda Ha reported on this story

How 1968 Olympians George Foreman and John Carlos influenced champion boxer Timothy Bradley

 

By Leighton Ginn

George Foreman said he has been impressed with the career of WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, comparing him to legend Jersey Joe Walcott, and thought he was a boxer who came out of nowhere.

But Foreman didn’t realize that he had actually met Bradley early in his career.

In 2005, Foreman had flown out to California to do a favor for his 1968 U.S. Olympic teammate, sprinter John Carlos, who was a counselor at Palm Springs High School. During an event, Carlos had asked Foreman to take time out to talk to his friend Ray’s son, who happened to be Bradley.

When told of that event, Foreman remembered talking to Carlos’ friend who was a boxer. He just never realized it was Bradley.

“That’s who that was?” Foreman said during a telephone interview. “I didn’t realize that was Timothy Bradley at all.

“What a small world. Man alive.”

It is the friendship between Carlos and Ray Bradley that made the meeting possible for Tim Bradley and memorable for Foreman.

Back in 1968, Foreman was just a 19-year-old boxer with a lot of talent but little experience. Carlos was a world record holder in the 200 meters and one of the biggest personalities on the U.S team.  He was also a man Foreman looked up to.

Once the Olympics began, both athletes were busy preparing for their events and wouldn’t have time to catch up. They made a deal they would meet a few days after the Olympics to share their experiences.

“It was the day after the Olympics we were going to meet and go over what happened in our lives,” Foreman said.

“We didn’t get to actually sit and chat.”

John Carlos and George Foreman: Contrasting images, lasting friendship

Carlos won a bronze medal in the 200 while U.S. teammate Tommie Smith won the gold. At the awards stand, Smith and Carlos bowed their heads and raised their gloved fists during the national anthem to protest the lack of civil rights for people of color.

Afterwards, Carlos and Smith were ostracized and thrown out of the Olympic Village. Both were booked on the next flight back to America.

 

Days later, Foreman would win his gold medal as a boxing heavyweight. Immediately winning the gold medal, Foreman would pull out a small American flag that he would wave in celebration.

For many, Foreman’s celebration was interpreted as a response to Carlos and Smith’s protest. Foreman said that wasn’t the case.

Foreman said his flag waving was not a statement to contrast what Carlos and Smith had done. As a 19-year-old, Foreman had fulfilled a dream and he wanted to celebrate and show his patriotism.

“There I am, winning a gold medal, and I got to make sure everyone knew where I’m from,” Foreman said “In my ignorance, if I don’t raise this flag, they wouldn’t know where I’m from.”

Because the perception was Foreman was protesting Smith and Carlos, he encountered his own backlash. It became evident when he returned home to Houston.

“I’m a happy boy and I’m wearing my gold medal everywhere, the grocery store, everywhere. I didn’t take it off,” Foreman said. “One guy comes to me, and he was a neighbor for years and I knew him. He said, ‘How could you do what you did when the brothers were doing their thing?’ I didn’t understand what he was talking about, I really didn’t understand.

“Later on, I heard more about it and what the media was saying about it. I got a little mean about it and no one said anything about it again. I was waiting for it with a left-right. I wasn’t going to hear anything like that.”

The backlash would form Foreman’s surly and intimidating persona when he turned pro.

Foreman would ascend to the heavyweight boxing title and forged a legendary career, beating Joe Frazier for the title, losing the title to Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle and the Rope a Dope strategy.

In his second part of his career, the kinder and gentler Foreman become the oldest heavyweight champion at 47 when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994.

Outside of the ring, Foreman became one of the country’s most successful businessman with his Foreman Grill.

Carlos faced his own backlash.  He regularly received death threats and was constantly followed by the FBI. In his book, “The John Carlos Story,” he said the harassment and constant surveillance put a strain on his family life that he separated from his first wife Kim.

The lowest point, according to Carlos in his book, was a moment he was so lonely from the isolation that he asked the agent who was following him if he would like to share a cup of coffee one night.

By 1989, at the urging of his kids during a detour on a road trip, Carlos had moved to Palm Springs, Calif. What was supposed to be a short stopover became his home for over 20 years. Carlos raised his kids and worked for the Palm Springs Unified School District as an in-school suspension supervisor and a coach.

It was through his job he forged a friendship with Ray Bradley, who was a security guard for the district.

“Ray was always a true grit-type of guy,” Carlos said. “What I like about Ray, he’s a man’s man. He’s a damn good father to his kids, he’s good to his woman. He has loyalty to his staff, loyalty to his job, loyal to his wife and kids and loyal to his friends. It was a rare quality at that time. It might still be a rare quality today.”

Ray Bradley said he was 5-years old when Carlos made his protest. When he saw it on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Ray Bradley said he didn’t understand the protest because he was so young, but developed an appreciation as he got older.

“That was a very powerful statement Mr. Carlos made in Mexico City,” Ray Bradley said. “Growing up at a young age I didn’t know what was going on. I saw a lot of racial tension and we just wanted equal.”

It was during those hot, lazy days in the Palm Springs desert when Carlos would share his experience of what happened after Mexico City.

“The stories he tells me, I go, ‘I don’t know how you are still here,’” Ray Bradley said. “Everyone wanted to hurt you for making a statement like that. He told me there was death threats, getting banned from the Olympics, kicked him out and sent him home.

“Then he goes, ‘They killed my first wife.’ Oh, that’s some heavy stuff.”

Carlos’ first wife Kim had committed suicide in 1977.

 

Feared and respected

 

There is a legend of Carlos that still stands today, Ray Bradley said.

Carlos had caught two kids ditching. When Carlos found them, they made a run for it, figuring they had several years on this middle-aged teacher and a few blocks head start. The student didn’t realize he was once one of the fastest men on the planet.

“He said, ‘Mr. Carlos ran me down. I had blocks on him and he smoked me. I thought it was a ghost,’” Ray Bradley remembered from the student. “He still had speed. As a mid-aged person, he still had speed.”

The kid asked who was the old man who ran him down. Carlos told the kid that if he was in class instead of ditching, he might learn who he was.

The kid would find Carlos in a history book.

But a young Timothy Bradley knows Carlos as a family friend.

He was a friend until Bradley got in trouble one day.

Mouthing off in class, Bradley was sent to Carlos by his teacher.

Bradley said he was scared.

“John Carlos didn’t pull any punches. He told you like it was. Don’t nobody want to hear the truth,” Bradley said. “That’s the reason why I was scared, I was scared about what he had to say.”

When Bradley walked into Carlos’ classroom, he said what he feared came true.

“I walked in, ‘What are you doing in here young blood? What are you doing in here? You don’t belong in here. Sit down. Get a magazine and write me an essay,’” Bradley remembered. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing in here?’ He was loud, he didn’t care if he hurt my feelings. He was real, and it was felt.”

At first, Carlos gave a different version of the incident.

“He was a pretty reserved kid,” Carlos said in a telephone conversation from his home in Georgia. “That wasn’t his style. My thing was to cheer him up, pick him up and make him feel good about who he is.”

When Carlos was told Bradley said he was yelled at and felt intimidated, Carlos quickly replied, “I scare them all when they first come in my room because I don’t want them coming back. That’s my stamp there.”

Bradley’s father was well aware of Carlos’ reputation. So when Tim returned home and told his dad about what happened, there was no further punishment.

“He already had his punishment. John Carlos jumped down his throat,” Ray Bradley said. “I didn’t have to do anything but give him that eye. ‘Do something again, I’m going to put something on you. I might have to go to jail, so don’t do it again.’”

Tim Bradley said he didn’t get in trouble again.

Carlos said he would see Ray in the weight room, and was mesmerized by how hard he worked. It was as if he was bonding with the weights.

“I think he transferred that work ethic to his son when he was a baby and embedded this in them. Never say quit, never say die,” Carlos said. “It was a commitment all around. You truly had to be committed. When you see the momma and daddy get up early with their boy at 5 a.m. and have him training, they must have had a goal in mind. They had a program to reach that goal.”

And through the years, Carlos said he would see that same kind of commitment from Bradley.

“His work ethic is the same today as it was as a kid, because he would get up and run all over the desert. I used to see him out there on the road and I’d just be smiling,” Carlos said. “When I would see him now, I would picture a little boy running in the morning. He never went away from the foundation his parents gave him.

“You could see his determination when he fights people. He fights guys taller than him, heavier then him and he goes through them like they’re a piece of cardboard.”

For more on John Carlos, go to his website

So when Carlos was contacted by Foreman in 2005, it was the first time they had spoken since the 1968 Olympics. In Carlos’ mind, he wanted Foreman to meet Tim.

Palm Springs High School was planning an event for Black History Month. Carlos asked Foreman if he could show up. Because it was a last-minute request, Foreman chartered a private jet to make sure he could fulfill the request.

“He said, he’s coming, He’s coming, so bring your son. I want him to meet him because he’s a great man, a great person. Whatever he can tell him, he could use it. Your son will be big one day. He needs to hear from Big George,” Ray Bradley said.

When Foreman arrived, he was busy meeting people all day before his speech. But Carlos made sure the Bradleys were backstage, so when Foreman was through talking, they could meet.

“Meeting him, it’s how a champion should be. He was very charismatic,” Tim Bradley said. “It was an honor to actually meet him, especially early in my career. It gave me someone to look up to, someone to be like. It showed me how a top former fighter from a different generation or era was and how he carried himself.”

While the day was a whirlwind for Foreman, he said meeting the Bradleys stuck out because Carlos made them a priority. And then what Foreman saw also stuck with him, and that was Tim with Ray and his mom Kathleen.

“You meet a lot of boxers, and they come up with their trainer or manager or promoter. Very rarely do they come with their family,” Foreman said. “It makes them different, that they have people who love and care for him.

“That’s what I remember, he had people who loved and cared for him. That’s why I poured out the information.”

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a story that ran in April.

 

Joel Diaz plans for ‘wrecking train’ Ruslan Provodnikov to ride over John Molina

weigh in-0006 (Ruslan Provodnikov and John Molina Jr)

Ruslan Provodnikov (left) and John Molina Jr. pose following the weigh in for their fight on June 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME.

 

 

By Leighton Ginn

With a fighter who is a destructive force like Ruslan Provodnikov, trainer Joel Diaz said what he just has to do is unleash the beast.

That’s what he plans to do tonight when Provodnikov faces John Molina in a light welterweight fight. The telecast begins at 6 p.m. PST on Showtime.

Some have projected the bout as a Fight of the Year candidate because both fighters like to mix it up at the center of the ring. And Diaz hopes Molina continues to move forward to make a thrilling fight.

“Molina is a guy who wants to fight, he stands in front of you and exchange with you. That will be the worst mistake he’ll make against a wrecking train,” Diaz said. “Ruslan has power in both hands. When I say power, I’m talking about devastating power. Molina has been hurt in previous fights. If he gets caught with a right or a left with bad intentions, the fight is over.”

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Ruslan Provodnikov (left) and John Molina pose following the weigh in for their fight on June 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME.

Provodnikov, nicknamed the Siberian Rocky, has become one of the boxing’s most exciting attractions. His 2013 fight with Timothy Bradley was the Fight of the Year, and maybe the fight of the decade as he was able to give Bradley a concussion in the first round and knocked him down in the closing seconds before losing a unanimous decision.

Ruslan has power in both hands. When I say power, I’m talking about devastating power.” Joel Diaz

Ironically, Diaz was working in Bradley’s corner in 2013.

Provodnikov has also had spectacular showdowns when he stopped Mike Alvarado and was in a war with Lucas Matthysse before falling in a majority decision.

However, it could be argued that Provodnikov needs to harness his aggression. He arguably punched himself out in the early rounds against Bradley, allowing him to dominate in the middle rounds.

Against Chris Algieri, Provodnikov knocked down his opponent two times in the opening round, but then didn’t adjust when Algieri changed his strategy.

Before Provodnikov’s fight in November, he decided to hire Diaz as his trainer. So far, they’re still learning about each other, but Diaz said they are making progress.

Diaz said working with Provodnikov can be tricky. He’s at his best when the lights are on for a big fight. In the gym, not so much.

 “Ruslan is not about technique and strategy, that’s why in the gym he never looks good,” Diaz said. “In the gym, he’s less than average.”

But Diaz said he’s integrating small changes into Provodnikov, hoping the small changes can make a big difference for a fighter who has been in brutal battles the last few years.

Ruslan is not about technique and strategy” Joel Diaz

And the two are getting comfortable, and are starting to understand each other better despite the language barrier.

“He feels like we’re part of the family,” Diaz said.

 A victory tonight, and Provodnikov could open the door to big match ups.

weigh in-0002 (John Molina Jr)

John Molina poses following the weigh in for his fight on June 11, 2016 against Ruslan Provodnikov. Photo courtesy of Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME.

Molina won’t be easy. Also an exciting fighter, he had a standout performance against Matthysse, who many considered the best in the weight class for a few years.

Molina knocked Matthysse down twice before getting knocked out in the 11th. It was the Fight of the Year for 2014.

Diaz thinks this could be a Fight of the Year candidate based on their styles.

“With Molina, there’s no way we’re telling him to hold back,” Diaz said. “Molina is dangerous on the outside because he has the reach and he knows how to use it. We tell him the thing with Molina is to get inside and to get close. That’s where we’re going to do some damage, on the inside.”

 

Now I really believe Manny Pacquiao is retired … well 95 percent sure

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Manny Pacquiao shakes hands with HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson after concluding his post-fight press conference on April 9. Pacquiao had just beaten Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision.

 

 

By Leighton Ginn

Before announcing his fight against Timothy Bradley on April 9, Manny Pacquiao had said it would be his last fight.

However, his promoters Top Rank never called it a farewell fight, and during the promotion, Pacquiao had hedged on his retirement, leaving the door open to coming back.

But one question that was never asked Pacquiao was if he would stay retired if he didn’t win a senate seat in his home of the Philippines.

If Pacquiao would have failed to gain a senate seat, why would he stay retired? Pacquiao would have a lot more time on his hands as he wouldn’t have a political office, and he’ll have a lot of free time.

And in their three fights, Pacquiao looked his best against Bradley on April 9, scoring two knockdowns before winning with a unanimous decision. Pacquiao had never knocked Bradley down in their first two fights.

But this week, it appears Pacquiao did secure a senate seat, making it unlikely Pacquiao would return. With an important office like a senator, Pacquiao probably wouldn’t have as much time to train as he would like, although he did maintain his career while serving as a Congressman.

At 37-years old, it becomes more of a challenge to maintain a high level of fitness to perform at a high level.

In various reports, promoter Bob Arum, the founder of Top Rank, has said a rematch against Floyd Mayweather seems unlikely. And that seems like the only fight that would be worth Pacquiao’s while to come out of retirement.

And if his Bradley victory is his final fight, it will be an impressive and ideal end to Pacquiao’s career, a convincing victory over a fighter who figures to be a future Hall of Famer.

However, boxers have a hard time staying retired. It seems unlikely now that Pacquiao would return, but only time will tell.

Timothy Bradley will meet the fans on April 23 in Cerritos

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By Leighton Ginn

Five-time world champion Timothy Bradley will be in Cerritos at 2 p.m. on April 23rd at Leelin Bakery and Café.

Available to fans will be a limited edition T-shirts.

Leelin Bakery and Café is a Filipino spot that has a tasty menu. For more information on Leelin, or to look at their menu, go to http://www.leelinbakerycafe.com/

Bradley is coming off just the second loss of his career, dropping a unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao to complete their trilogy.

 

 

Timothy Bradley on his favorite resort in Las Vegas

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By Leighton Ginn

Throughout the course of covering Timothy Bradley, there are several funny things he might blurt out.

It’s usually sincere, but also entertaining because of Bradley’s timing.

During the final press conference to talk about his fight against Brandon Rios in November, he took time out to thank the host resort, the Wynn, and had a fun way of expressing his admiration for the hotel.

I think the Wynn has found itself a pretty good spokesperson.

 

Could Amir Khan, Terence Crawford or Jessie Vargas be next for Timothy Bradley?

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By Leighton Ginn

Could the wait be over and could Timothy Bradley finally face Amir Khan?

Or will he be lured into fighting his “brother” Terence Crawford?

Will Jessie Vargas get the rematch he has been demanding?

Is Kell Brook, ranked by some as the No. 1 welterweight in the world, interested in Bradley?

Bradley is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016. It was the second loss in Bradley’s career, both coming at the fists of Pacquiao.

Although knocked down twice, Bradley didn’t appear hurt and could be ready to go in the fall. After the fight, however, Bradley didn’t look interested in talking too soon about what’s next.

But Bradley did emphasize he will continue boxing. So here’s a look at some possible opponents.

TOP PICKS

AMIR KHAN: This might be the most appealing option for Bradley, but has complications to being made.

They were the top two guys in the light welterweights in 2011 and they were in negotiations for a fight. However, Bradley’s contract with his old promoters ran out and he signed with Top Rank in effort to set up a fight with Manny Pacquiao.

From that moment, there has been bad blood between the two. Prior to the weigh ins, Khan said something to Bradley.

Khan has a huge fight May 7 against Canelo Alvarez, where he will be a big underdog. If Khan loses, it could open the door to finally fight Bradley.

Questions remain as to Khan’s relationship with Al Haymon. The manager for Khan is in the middle of a $300 million anti-trust lawsuit again him by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, who are promoting the fight.

Haymon’s fighters rarely fight outside the PBC banner. Bradley’s promoters, Top Rank, also have a lawsuit against Haymon.

De La Hoya said he never spoke to Haymon during negotiations for the Alvarez fight. Does that mean Haymon wouldn’t get in the way if Bradley and Khan wanted to fight next?

It would be a great option for both fighters.

KELL BROOK: The IBF champion is the No. 1 welterweight according to The Ring and wrote he is looking for a big fight. Timothy Bradley would fit that bill.

Sticking point of a fight like that will be venue. Being a big UK star, Brook would probably want the fight in England. While Bradley won his first title in England, he’s probably not interested in crossing the pond and he is the more accomplished fighter of the two.

But if Brook is interested in being a big star and wants a big stage, he will need to fight in the US.

JESSIE VARGAS: A rematch seems more appealing since Vargas won the WBO title that Bradley vacated to fight Pacquiao. Their first fight ended in controversy when referee Pat Russell stopped the fight at the 10-second warning instead of the final bell.

Vargas had rocked Bradley earlier in the fight and hand him wobbly before the end of the fight.

Outside the one punch, Bradley was dominating the fight. Vargas contends he had Bradley in major trouble and hurt badly.

Following the fight, Bradley switched trainers and adding Teddy Atlas to his team. Vargas said he’s greatly improved. Both fighters are with Top Rank, so it’s a doable fight.

LONGSHOTS 

TERENCE CRAWFORD: This will be the most unlikely option. Timothy Bradley has said repeatedly he would not fight Crawford, his former sparring partner he calls his brother.

They are both promoted by Top Rank, and apparently there’s been push to make this fight happen.

Bradley is a loyal person who values his friendships, so you’d think no amount of money would make this fight possible.

RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: A rematch of the 2013 fight does sound intriguing, especially since Bradley’s former trainer, Joel Diaz, is working with Provodnikov right now. The problem is, Provodnikov is 3-3 in his last six fights.

If he had a better record, it would put pressure on Bradley to take the fight. But at .500, it just wouldn’t make sense for Bradley from a financial standpoint.

MIGUEL COTTO: It’s always tricky dealing with Cotto. It would be an attractive fight, but Bradley would probably have to go up in weight, which he’s indicated he’s ready to do.

However, Atlas has hinted he’s not interested in seeing Bradley go up in weight. But it could be lucrative if Cotto does come calling.

CANELO ALVAREZ: Since Khan is going up in weight to face Alvarez, it certainly would make sense for Bradley, who has been more successful at 147 than Alvarez.

However, Alvarez is a big, strong fighter at 155. It would be a tough fight for Bradley to make his debut at a heavier weight class.

But there’s push for Alvarez to have a mega-fight against Gennady Golovkin in September. So if Alvarez wins, more likely it will be Golovkin.

If Bradley gets the call for Alvarez, which he said in the past he would welcome, his team will have some serious discussions, because it would be a big pay-per-view showcase.