By Jake Donovan
Unbeaten light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud doesn’t plan to make things difficult for his next ring appearance. In fact, the sculpted Floridian is stopping just short of signing a blank check in order to agree to terms for a planned summer showdown with former lineal champ Jean Pascal.
All that Cloud and his team needs to know is that Pascal is in fact on board.
“Don King is negotiating with Yvon Michel (Pascal’s promoter),” revealed veteran trainer Al Bonanni, who guides Cloud’s career.” It’s my understanding that Sauerland Event will have their kid (Karo Murat, Cloud’s mandatory challenger) step aside. The winner then has to fight Murat.”
The news of Murat agreeing to step aside was a bit of surprise to Bonanni. It was believed from the moment Cloud landed on the favorable end of a highly controversial points win over Gabriel Campillo in February that his next defense will in fact be the mandatory that was due.
When news surfaced of Cloud instead possibly facing Pascal, Hall of Fame promoter Don King immediately went to work to make sure that all parties will be satisfied.
On the surface, it appears that King and Sauerland see eye to eye. King and Michel reportedly have agreed to terms. Cloud is good with a fight happening sooner than later, contingent on being paid his fair market share.
All that’s left is for Pascal and his side to come to terms with the offer.
“It seems like Pascal cannot come to terms with his promoter. I can only say what I read,” states Bonanni, acknowledging that his information is secondhand. “He’s advised that he should get $2 million for the fight. Tavoris is waiting to meet with Don to see how much of the pie is left for us. Pascal has this idea that there is a lot of money in the fight. We’re realistic about how much the fight is worth, but then again we don’t have millions in the bank like Pascal claims to have.”
The latter remark hints at the suggestion that Cloud truly wants to fight and as often as possible. Activity has been an issue since winning the title in Aug. ’09, though the promise of a four-month turnaround in ring appearances is a huge step in the right direction.
On the other hand, Pascal hasn’t fought since losing in a rematch to Bernard Hopkins last May. The former champ has spent far more time in attendance at ringside for major fights than actually being involved in any of them.
Despite his run of inactivity, Pascal has spent a great deal of time calling out Cloud and demanding a fight. One is now on the table; it’s just a matter of all parties putting ink to paper.
“We need to know who we’re fighting,” said Bonanni, who stated that Cloud is back in the gym but waiting to see whom they should be preparing to fight. “It appears that our promoter that a deal is in place with Don and Yvon, but that Pascal is not in accordance with his promoter. He’s been calling Cloud out. We’ve been waiting and will continue to wait.”
Pascal is not the only fighter to demand a fight with Cloud, though the list of willing participants has grown ever since the unbeaten titlist struggled throughout against Campillo. It’s a different tune than from years past, when Cloud has all but begged for his peers to step up and fight.
“They all want us now since the last fight,” claims Bonanni. “Our last fight was a tough fight. Now, they think they can beat us. If they feel that ways, let’s go.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter:@JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com