RingTV.com caught up with IBF light heavyweight beltholder Tavoris Cloud, who confirmed reports by BoxingScene.com that he is close to signing a deal to defend his title against former champ Jean Pascal, on Showtime later this year.
Cloud (24-0, 19 knockouts) told RingTV.com on Tuesday that he hoped to meet with promoter, Don King, on Wednesday and finalize the bout with Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), whom he and trainer, Al Bonani, have called out in the past.
He also addressed his controversial Showtime-televised title defense against former WBA titleholder Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs), whom Cloud edged by split-decision in a bout in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Most ringsiders and media members thought Cloud lost. Campillo’s handlers have filed an appeal against the decision with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation that still is pending.
Cloud had hoped for a more decisive victory against Campillo to force potential bouts against big name fighters in the division. Nicknamed “Thunder,” Cloud, nevertheless, says he’s ready to move on. Beyond Pascal, Cloud said he believed that RING/WBC champ Bernard Hopkins has been was avoiding him.
Hopkins, who turned 47 in January, dethroned Pascal as WBC beltholder by unanimous decision last May to become the oldest man to win a significant title belt in boxing.
Hopkins told RingTV.com during an interview that he would fight unbeaten WBO titleholder Nathan Cleverly, of the United Kingdom, or once-beaten WBA beltholder Beibut Shumenov, of Kazakhstan — but not Cloud.
For now, Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) has an April 28 rematch with southpaw contender Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs), their initial bout having ended in controversy in October.
During an interview with RingTV.com, however, Dawson took shots at Cloud. Dawson said he watched Cloud and Campillo, who was floored twice in the first round but appeared to take control for the fight’s remainder of the fight.
“Who wouldn’t want to fight him after that fight? Who wouldn’t? He fought a tall, lanky southpaw just like me. Just like me. The guy was tall, good feet, and he was a boxer. He knew when to punch and when not to punch. Pretty much, the guy had the same style like I have. And look what happened,” said Dawson, loser of an 11th-round technical decision to Pascal in August of 2010.
“So do you think that Tavoris Cloud wants another fight with another tall southpaw? I mean, he just fought a guy who has only seven knockouts. I’m a southpaw but I believe that I can punch. We want the fight to happen, but you’ve got to be smart. Just like sending him back in to get finished off. Same type of fighter.”
Cloud discussed the fight with Campillo, the prospect of facing Pascal and Dawson’s comments in this Q&A below.
RingTV.com: So how close are you to facing Pascal in your next fight?
Tavoris Cloud: Well, I’m going down to speak to my promoter tomorrow [Wednesday,] so I hope that it’s happening. Pascal and I were supposed to fight before, but the deal didn’t go through.
I’ve heard a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Hopefully, the deal will go through this time. That’s what I understand is going down and we’re supposed to meet up with Don King to get the rundown on things.
When I spoke to Don, I talked to him and he said that they’re trying to make it work. Don told me to “get your hands ready to knock somebody out.”
RingTV.com: Can you address your performance against Campillo and how eager you are to bounce back from that?
TC: Well, first of all, I feel that I won the fight. You know, I’m not going to really elaborate on that. You have ups and downs in fights, and Cloud had a down fight. It was a fight that wasn’t picture-perfect for me.
I still came out with the decision. Everything is just moving forward to bigger and better things. Whatever it was, I thought of several things that could have contributed to my performance that night.
We’re coming back and we’re correcting all of them. We’re just going to get back into the ring with more determination and we’re going to re-enforce the work ethic and everything. I just want to keep fighting.
I’m not going to let anything stop me and I’m not going to be down on myself. I’m a fighter. I’m gong to keep going and keep doing what I’ve been doing.
RingTV.com: Do you think that your performance is a reason that Pascal, Dawson and others may come back to the table to try and face you now when perhaps you feel they didn’t before?
TC: You know, I kind of give Pascal more respect than I do Chad Dawson because we were in negotiations before the Campillo fight to fight Pascal, but Chad Dawson?
All of a sudden, when I have a bad night, he comes out of nowhere? I’ve been calling this dude out since 2008. I was the No. 1 contender in 2008, and I got his belt. I’m still defending the title and I’ve got his belt?
All of a sudden, he wants to jump and say that I’m fighting Tavoris Cloud next after I fight Bernard Hopkins, and that Campillo showed the blueprint on how to beat Cloud?
My thoughts on that are, “b__ch, sit down!” You know, he wants to grab some courage out of thin air or something. What is he thinking? Don’t these dudes think about what they’re saying before they say it? Next question.
RingTV.com: What sort of fight do you expect out of Pascal?
TC: It will definitely be an exciting fight, and that’s why I hope that the fight is made. Pascal, there is not too much to figure out about him, and there’s not too much to figure out about me.
You have two dogs, and when you put them in the ring, the best man will win on that night. I think that looking at it from my standpoint, the adavantages that I have are power and endurance.
Remember, Pascal fades in the later rounds and Cloud never fades in the later rounds, and I take my power into the later rounds. So I see that it’s a dangerous fight for Pascal.
I hope that we make the fight. Pascal, I heard from a source, that they offered him over $1 million for this fight, and he says that he needs more. I mean, what’s wrong with this dude?
Talking about how many millions of dollars that he has in the bank, and that that’s why he haden’t signed the fight contract yet. Pascal, come on, man.
There are a lot of dates being thrown around. I have a mandatory in Karo Morat, so we have to get an exception for that from the IBF fight to make the Pascal fight. So we have to handle this mandatory thing first.
I don’t know if this guy will sit down for me to allow this fight with Pascal to happen, and then, I will fight him. But I really don’t know. Whatever date they come up with is fine with me.
Photo by David Martin Warr, Don King Productions
Photo by Jeff Fusco, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photos by David Martin Warr, Don King Productions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]