Biloxi, Miss. (Sept. 13, 2008) – In his first world title defense, Timothy Desert Storm Bradley dominated dangerous veteran Edner Cherry Bomb Cherry en route to a decisive unanimous decision victory on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Bradley retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight title by scores of 119-109, 118-109 and 117-110.
The previously scheduled main event, a WBA, WBO and IBF World Lightweight Championship between champion Nate Campbell and challenger Joan Guzman was cancelled when Guzman reportedly refused to fight due to health concerns. Guzman had failed to make the 135-pound limit at Fridays official weigh-in, coming in at 138 ½ pounds.
Elevated to the main event, Bradley and Cherry did not disappoint the capacity crowd at the Beau Rivage Theatre at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. Bradley, 25-years old from Palm Springs, Calif., was out to prove that his surprising upset win over Junior Witter on May 10, 2008 to capture the title was no fluke.
Bradley came to Mississippi, thinking he was the second fiddle on this show, said SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING host and play-by-play announcer Steve Albert. When he moved up to the main event, he rose to the occasion. It was a lopsided and impressive victory.
Bradley systematically broke down Cherry behind a quick and accurate jab. He used excellent footwork and slick upper body movement to elude his opponent consistently. He punctuated his performance with powerful body punches.
I listened to my corner and got behind my jab, said Bradley. That set up my big punches and enabled me to take control.
Midway through the eighth round, Bradley floored Cherry with a flush overhand right to the face. Cherry regrouped, but could not gain any momentum against the champion.
Thats my James Toney right hand, he continued in reference to the knockdown punch. He rolls with the shoulder and comes back with the right. It was just a good punch.
Cherry, age 26 of Wauchula, Fla., by way of the Bahamas, drops to 24-6-2 (12 KOs).
Bradley is a tough fighter, said a disappointed Cherry after the decision. He is slick and has good head movement. Hes a true champion and he came to fight.
With regard to his fight becoming the main event of the evening, Bradley said, I believe everything happens for a reason. It is a shame that Campbell and Guzman couldnt fight, but it was a great opportunity to show what I can do in the main event on SHOWTIME.
The undefeated Bradley (23-0, 11 KOs) is a four-fight veteran of the SHOWTIME boxing series ShoBox: The New Generation and has emerge as a future star of the sport.
Hes a solid, consistent, excellent boxer, said analyst Al Bernstein. And whether or not he ever becomes a spectacular fighter may not matter as long as he keeps on wracking up wins.
After the final bell, in a classy show of sportsmanship, Bradley thanked his opponent and Team Cherry for the opportunity to trade leather.
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