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Timothy Bradley defends his title against Joel Casamayor
The 12th of November not only marks the date that Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have the final match of their epic trilogy, it also marks the return to the ring of WBO Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley, who has not set foot on the canvas since his victory over Devon “The Great’ Alexander back in January this year.

After just less than a year out of the ring, Timothy Bradley announced in Sepember that he has joined Top Rank promotions and will fight ex WBC Lightweight champion Joel “El Cepillo” Casamayor, putting his WBO Light Welterweight title will be on the line. Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley used to hold the WBC Welterweight belt as well, but he was stripped of the title due to inactivity.

Joel Casamayor, 40, is coming into this fight after a split decision win over Mexican southpaw Manuel Leyva in March 2011, and before that he lost a unanimous decision to Robert Guerrero in July 2010. He is considered past his best by most boxing fans because he has been though too many tough battles in his fifteen year career, fighting the likes of Michael Katsidis, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Diego Corrales.The fact that Casamayor is now in his forties means he is considered a ‘shot’ fighter and a big underdog for tonights match.

Timothy Bradley v Joel Casamayor Prediction
Timothy Bradley is the bookies favorite for this fight, and with good reason. The main one is that Bradley is a solid all round fighter who is in his prime and peak condition. Whenever you see Bradley fight, you can tell by his expressions that he is always determined to win and that it will take a skilled fighter to beat him. . While Casamayor is a skilled fighter, his days of beating fighters such as Diego Corrales are long gone. Bradley is going to be too young for him to compete with.

It also seems like Casamayor doesn’t have the hunger to win that most young fighters (like Bradley for example) do. In the his fight with Guerrero, Casamayor spent a lot of that fight holding back his opponent, which tells me he wasn’t as determined as Guerrero was to win that fight.

So the fact that Bradley is the better skilled, hungrier, and younger fighter persuades me to choose Bradley to take the unanimous decision over Casamayor. Since Bradley isn’t the hardest puncher I don’t think he will get a knockout tonight.

I take Bradley by a 118/110 type decision.

What’s next for Timothy Bradley and Joel Casamayor?
For Casamayor, presuming my prediction is spot on, his next move should be retirement - a loss to Bradley would be his third in only five fights. Most boxers want to retire having taken as few beatings as possible. Casamayor has already been in several slug fests with other fighters and has taken one or two batterings, so if he decides to fight on after a loss to Bradley, he will only be doing more damage to himself.

For Bradley, well I would like to see him either stay at 140 and fight Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana. I think Bradley needs to take a fight against either one or both of these fighters to earn back the respect of the fans, since his refusal to fight Amir Khan has done his reputation a great deal of damage. Fighting Khan or Maidana would get Bradley back some respect. Even more so if he won.

Final Thoughts
This is a decent fight for Timothy Bradley’s return. I certainly didn’t expect a dangerous opponent for his first fight after a long lay off, so a match against a good-but-past-his-best boxer like Casamayor isn’t a surprise to me. This is a chance for Bradley to look good and for Casamayor to take one more payday. In terms of tonights card, this is the third most appealing fight scheduled, with Manny Pacquiao Vs Juan Manuel Marquez III and Breidis Prescott Vs Mike Alvarado being the more entertaining matches. Who will win? Are you looking forward to Timothy Bradley's return?

Written by Jake Wallwork (@WallworkJake on Twitter)