By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has spoken with multiple parties who close to the situation and it's going to get ugly. I've been told that IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud has withdrawn from the fight with Glen Johnson, scheduled for April 10 on HBO as the co-feature to Andre Berto vs. Carlos Quintana.
Cloud signed a promotional deal with Don King, which is a whole other story, but he withdrew with a hamstring injury. I've heard the promoters of the event are not buying the injury story and there is some question as to whether or not Richie Boy Promotions are still holding a valid contract over Cloud. Richie Boy made a deal with DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing for the fight.
Cloud's trainer Al Bonanni, who also does matchmaking for King, spoke with BoxingScene.com about the situation. Bonanni's uncle Jerry Attardi is Cloud's manager. Bonanni says there was never a contract for the fight with Johnson and the boxer first learned about the fight through the internet.
According to Bonanni, Richie Boy Promotions do not have a valid contract with Cloud, although Richie Boy CEO Richie Perrillo has told several parties that he does. From what I've been made to understand, there will be a legal battle over Cloud.
"I know that my uncle and him were looking for a new promoter for several months and I'm not a lawyer so I don't now what problem is with the contract with Richie Boy. He [Cloud] called my uncle to see Don King five weeks. He came in and saw Don," Bonanni told BoxingScene.com.
"He agreed to terms with Don about five weeks ago. He first heard about the fight through the internet. He called my uncle about a week ago and asked him to intervene and my uncle telephoned HBO on his behalf and they told him that they don't deal with managers. Cloud never signed an agreement to fight on this show. He never signed a promotional agreement with DiBella or a new agreement with Richie Boy."
I've heard everyone involved is blaming King for breaking up the fight, but Bonanni says the fighter has an injury that would have prevented him from going forward regardless. Bonanni told BoxingScene that Cloud was taken to a Florida commission doctor to evaluate the injury.
"It's not Don King's fault. How can you announce a fight or have a press conference when you don't have a contract. The fighter advised us that the first time heard about the fight was through the internet. My uncle was furious and called HBO but they wouldn't talk to him," Bonanni said.
"When he came to see my uncle, he was limping. He pulled hamstring in the back of his leg when he was running. That has nothing to do with Don. Someone put him in this fight without authorization. He was rushing through training because he thought he would be forced into this fight and he injured his hamstring when doubling up on the running."
Johnson is Cloud's mandatory. The fight still has to happen. King has asked the IBF for a medical extension to complete the mandatory defense.