By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Chad Dawson understood why nearly 5,000 fans booed so loudly Saturday night in Corpus Christi, Texas.
He couldn’t believe Tavoris Cloud was awarded a split-decision win over Gabriel Campillo, either.
“I was surprised,” Dawson said of the scoring, “but I was more surprised at how this dude was thumping on [Cloud]. He had no answer for it, no answers. That guy just showed you the blueprint to beat Tavoris Cloud. A tall southpaw, with a jab, who can punch and can keep you at the end of the punches.”
Dawson and his promoter, Gary Shaw, took notice. Shaw said that they want to fight Cloud after Dawson defeats Bernard Hopkins in their light heavyweight championship rematch April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Dawson doesn’t expect Cloud, the IBF light heavyweight title-holder, to avoid him because Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs, 2 NC) also is a tall southpaw, with a good jab and hand speed.
“You would think that [he would avoid me], but Cloud also thought he won that fight,” Dawson said. “Me, personally, honestly, if I got my ass whipped that bad and they announced me the winner, OK, I’ll take the win. But I’ve got to be honest. ‘Yo, you whupped my ass, man.’ You’ve got to be honest. I don’t care what it is. If that guy beat me like that and the judges gave me the decision, I would have to go tip my hat to that man and say, ‘Look man, you won. They gave me the win, but you won that fight.’ ”
Spain’s Campillo (21-4-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC) won on the scorecard of judge Dennis Nelson (115-111), but judge Joel Elizondo scored Cloud a 114-112 winner and judge David Robertson inexplicably credited Cloud with a 116-110 win.
Campillo survived two first-round knockdowns and out-boxed Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) over the vast majority of the 11 remaining rounds. Showtime’s unofficial punch statistics showed Campillo out-landed Cloud 187-147 in overall punches and 148-71 in power punches.
Campillo clearly deserves a rematch, though Dawson doesn’t think the hard-hitting champions from Tallahassee, Fla., will fight him again.
“Why?,” Dawson asked. “The same thing’s going to happen.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for the Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.