- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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The fall showdown between welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez has moved a step closer to being finalized.
Bradley signed his contract on Friday, manager Cameron Dunkin told ESPN.com.
The fight is supposed to take place Sept. 14 (HBO PPV) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. However, that is also the date (on Mexican Independence Day weekend) that pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he will next fight, at the MGM Grand in a Showtime PPV fight.
If Mayweather finalizes his own fight -- opponent TBA, but hopefully Mexican star junior middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez -- Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who is putting on Bradley-Marquez, said he will get out of the way and move the fight to Oct. 12. Arum said he has the Thomas & Mack Center also on hold for that date in case he needs to move it.
As for Marquez, who is coming off a sensational one-punch knockout of Manny Pacquiao in December, he hasn't yet signed his paperwork, but there are no issues, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.
"He has not signed, but all is done," Moretti said. "Nothing new when it comes to this stuff."