By Keith Idec
Tavoris Cloud doesn’t believe Zsolt Erdei ever suffered the hand injury that Erdei said caused him to withdraw from their scheduled Dec. 31 light heavyweight title fight in Anaheim, Calif.
“When I heard the fight was cancelled because Zsolt Erdei had a hand injury,” Cloud said, “the first thing I thought was, ‘Bullsh*t!’ You know? He didn’t hurt his hand. He didn’t want to fight. He ain’t prepared to fight. And he’s looking for a way out. And so he went to Germany, where nobody could see him and he claimed an injury. That was the end of that.”
Hungary’s Erdei is 33-0, but the undefeated Cloud might’ve been the toughest opponent of Erdei’s 11-year pro career. The 37-year-old Erdei expects to be able to fight sometime in the spring, but Cloud isn’t thinking about eventually rescheduling their fight. He is focusing on facing the former light heavyweight title-holder who agreed to replace Erdei on four weeks notice before Showtime decided against taking the ratings risk of televising a live doubleheader on New Year’s Eve.
The hard-hitting Cloud, of Tallahassee, Fla., will square off against skilled Spanish southpaw Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs, 1 NC) on Feb. 18 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Their 12-round fight for Cloud’s IBF light heavyweight championship will be broadcast by Showtime as the opener of a doubleheader that’ll feature former two-division champion Paul Williams (40-2, 27 KOs), of Aiken, S.C., against Japanese junior middleweight Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs) in the 12-round main event.
“I was depressed about [Erdei’s withdrawal], but I got over that,” Cloud, 30, said. “We got another fight. We got Gabriel Campillo. He stepped up to the plate. I’m glad he did, but I’m just here to do my job and take out anybody they put in front of me. I’m not going to over-think the situation. My goal right now is to get into the ring on the 18th and do my job and defend my title and go home to my wife and kids.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.