Although Top Rank promoter Bob Arum's main reason for being in New York on Thursday was to wrap up the final stop on the 12-day media tour for the Nov. 22 HBO PPV fight between welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao and junior welterweight titleholder Chris Algieri, he also had other business to attend to.
Arum said he was also planning to meet with HBO executives to go over the schedule for the rest of the year. One of the most significant fighters Top Rank promotes who does not have a fight scheduled yet is former welterweight and junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr., a priority of the meeting.
Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs), 31, of Palm Springs, California, is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Pacquiao, who regained his title in their April rematch.
Arum told ESPN.com that Bradley likely would return to HBO on Dec. 6 or Dec. 13 in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles. The opponent most likely to face Bradley, according to Arum, is Diego Chaves (23-2, 19 KOs), 28, of Argentina, a former interim titlist who faced Brandon Rios on Aug. 2 and was disqualified in the ninth round of a bruising fight. It was a very competitive but very dirty fight, with referee Vic Drakulich never establishing control.
"We have agreed with HBO that they will do a Tim Bradley fight in December, either the 6th or the 13th," Arum said. "Diego Chaves isn't finalized but Tim has accepted him as an opponent and we have the terms done. Chaves would be happy to take the fight, but we need to talk to HBO."
Arum said if he can convince HBO to add a second fight to Bradley's card, he will endeavor to convince the network to buy a match between Russian featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich (19-0, 9 KOs), 28, and former titlist Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-3, 16 KOs), 33, of South Africa. Vetyeka knocked out Chris John in the sixth round for a major upset to win the belt in December and then lost it to Nonito Donaire by fifth-round technical decision on May 31 in Macau, China.
"We have an opponent for Gradovich, Simpiwe. We made the match, but now we have to sell it," Arum said.
Arum said if he can't work it out for the bout to be on Bradley's undercard, he said another possibility would be for it to be on the undercard of lightweight titlist Terence Crawford's Nov. 29 defense on HBO.