By Jake Donovan
From the moment the Showtime braintrust conceived the idea of the super middleweight Super Six World Boxing Classic in the summer of ’09, industry-wide speculation began of how such a format would play out in other weight classes.
Even with the delays and setbacks endured by the tournament that took more than two years to complete, boxing luminaries still wonder aloud of the possibility of another of its kind taking place in the near future.
With the upcoming title fight between unbeaten Tavoris Cloud and former champ Gabriel Campillo recently being discussed, talk soon turned to the hope of getting all of the top light heavyweights together.
“If anyone could get a tournament and get everyone together I would be impressed and happy to be a part of it,” Cloud (23-0, 19KO) stated while promoting his February 18 fight with Campillo, which airs on Showtime live from Corpus Christi, Texas. “Maybe we do need to do a tournament like a Super Six or something like that for the light heavyweight division.”
According to his Hall of Fame promoter Don King, such discussions have already taken place. From there, it’s a matter of participation and execution in putting together the pieces of the light heavyweight puzzle.
“I think Tavoris Cloud is the best light heavyweight in the world and we intend to prove that, so we are calling everyone out on this night,” King insists of the unbeaten Floridian, whom he has promoted for the past two years. “After he diminishes this great young fighter, Gabriel Campillo, we will then move on to greatness. I was talking to Bernard Hopkins and he was saying how we should start a light heavyweight tournament and I said by all means, and that he and Tavoris can open it up.”
Hopkins is presently slated to rematch Chad Dawson in April, in a bout to be aired by HBO. The fight marks the last of a three-bout deal Hopkins had with the network, which has hosted each of Dawson’s last five contests. Both have previously appeared on Showtime, Hopkins as recent as his 12-round draw with Jean Pascal in Dec. ’10.
The names filled in the slots are less important to Cloud and King as the opportunity to be in place to get them all in the same room.
“We take anyone and everything as quickly as possible, right after one another,” King insists. “We haven’t been getting the TV dates and we haven’t been getting the fighters we’ve wanted to fight because everyone is afraid to face us. So what we will do to stop that is put up a ground swell of public support and opinion that Tavoris Cloud is the best in the world, and if you don’t believe that you better come and disprove that.”
The starting point for Cloud is to win on February 18 and look good doing so. The looking good part shouldn’t be hard as the unbeaten light heavyweight always comes to fight.
“I think if Tavoris goes in there and does his business there will be a public demand and public outcry for it. We want to fight each and every one of them, tournament or otherwise. We want to fight Bernard Hopkins to (Jean) Pascal or whoever else is out there who has a title. We will take on whoever they consider is the best as quickly as we possibly can. A tournament would be a super attraction as to who is really the best and not just a verbalization of it.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]