By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Throughout his 10-year professional boxing career, Timothy Bradley Jr. has won world titles in two weight classes and has faced a who’s who of top opponents, so even though he is coming off his first defeat — a time when many fighters would look for a soft touch — he isn’t about to change his mentality.
Bradley will return to the ring to face hard-punching contender Diego Chaves of Argentina in a scheduled 12-round welterweight fight Dec. 13 (HBO) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The fight has been agreed to by both sides, and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that contracts have been sent out for signatures.
“I’m excited to get back into the ring and showcase myself,” Bradley told ESPN.com on Thursday night. “Chaves is not that well known but the boxing fans know him. The boxing fans know that this guy can fight and that it won’t be a walk in the park for me. I think it’s going to be a great fight. I can’t wait.”
Bradley and Chaves both are coming off losses, giving them even more urgency to win. Bradley lost a decision and his welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao in their April 12 rematch of Bradley’s hugely controversial split-decision victory to claim the belt from Pacquiao in June 2012.
“My mindset is I can’t sit here and beat myself up over a loss to Manny Pacquiao,” Bradley said. “He’s one of the greatest fighters of this generation. I can look back and see what I did wrong and say, ‘I shoulda done this or I shoulda done that.’ But I know I’m a world-class fighter.
“I went 24 rounds with Manny Pacquiao, and he never really hurt me. I took Ruslan Provodnikov’s best shots [in a decision win], I took Manny Pacquiao’s best shots, and I took [Juan Manuel] Marquez’s best shots and beat him, too. I know I can take Diego Chaves’ best shots. I know I can hang with the best of them.”