IBF light heavyweight titleholder Tavoris Cloud, of Tallahassee, Fla., must face mandatory challenger Karo Murat, of Germany, before he can consider a defense against Canada’s former WBC light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal, according to IBF Public Relations Director Jeanette Salazar.
“They’re in negotiations right now. It depends on what happens. If they agree, then the fight can happen sooner,” said Salazar. “But if they have to go to a purse bid, then it might be longer. We don’t know exactly when the fight will happen.”
The promoters of Cloud (24-0, 19 knockouts) and Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), who are Don King and Yvon Michel, respectively, had been aiming a clash between the two for Aug. 11 before having to be postponed and re-targeting for sometime in October after Pascal suffered an injured right hand in sparring.
Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs) then became increasingly impatient after Cloud-Pascal hit another roadblock as a result of the limited dates available on Showtime, according to network official, Stephen Espinoza.
“The fall lineup for Showtime Championship Boxing features major events every month, and, in some cases two per month,” said Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports.
“In working with Don King and Yvon Michel on Pascal vs. Cloud, it doesn’t look like we can find the right date that works for both our network and the fighters and arena in Canada. This is a fight I was very interested in seeing, but unfortunately I just don’t think we’ll be able to televise it this year.”
In the meantime, Michel said he will observe Pascal’s recovery process, consider bringing him back to the ring on Dec. 14 at at The Belle Centre in Montreal, and then, focus on making the bout with Cloud.
“Pascal is still recovering from his hand injury, he’s still doing physical therapy. What I was told is that he could be back and everything should be fine for him by the beginning of September. If that’s the case, then we will be planning the Dec. 14 date to bring him back,” said Michel.
“Cloud has to fight his mandatory contender, and as soon as that is done, we can look at it. In the meantime, we’re going to try to keep Pascal active on our side. Hopefully, in the winter or next spring, we’ll be able to do that.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]