When their fight was announced as a done deal last month, former RING and WBC light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal of Canada told IBF beltholder Tavoris Cloud of Tallahassee, Fla., that he wanted “no excuses” when they clash on Showtime on Aug. 11 in Montreal.
“You’re a warrior like me, and this fight will not go to the distance. I’m not saying that I’m going to knock him out. That’s not what I’m saying right now,” said Pascal, at the time.
“I’m just saying it won’t go the distance, which is why you have to tune in Aug. 11…I hope Cloud comes in the best shape, because I don’t want any excuses. And I won’t have any excuses either.”
But Tuesday’s sudden cancelation of a national conference call to promote their clash has raised concern from the camp of Cloud (24-0, 19 knockouts), who is ranked No. 3 behind the No. 2-rated Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) in THE RING’s ratings.
Cloud is still training and healthy at the Don King Training Camp in Orwell, Ohio, according to promoter Don King’s Vice President of Public Relations, Alan Hopper.
“Tavoris Cloud is in perfect condition training in Orwell Ohio,” said Hopper. “All that Showtime told me is that they were canceling the call and that they wouldn’t cancel the call because of the co-feature.”
Pascal’s promoter, Yvon Michel, could not immediately be reached for comment. But a source familiar with Pascal has informed RingTV.com that he may have suffered a hand injury that could force the fight to be postponed.
RingTV.com has learned that there is a press conference being planned for Wednesday morning apparently to announce the status of the fight, according to sources familiar with the promotion.
Pascal posted two, ominous messages on his Twitter account on Tuesday, writing, “this is a sad day,” and, later, “this is a sad day because my Benz had a flat.”
Cloud was last in the ring in February for a controversial Showtime-televised split-decision over Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs).
After being dropped twice in the first round by Cloud, Campillo, a 6-foot-3 southpaw, appeared to thoroughly take control for the rest of the fight and deserved to win, according to most observers.
Former RING and WBC champ Bernard Hopkins, who turned 47 in January, dethroned Pascal as WBC beltholder by unanimous decision last May to become the oldest man to win a significant title belt in boxing.
Hopkins-Pascal II was a rematch of their disputed draw in December of 2010, during which Hopkins rose from two early knockdowns.
Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) was dethroned by unanimous decision in April by southpaw contender Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs), their initial bout having ended in controversy in October. Pascal had vanquished Dawson by 11th-round technical decision in August of 2010.
Trained by Emmanuel Steward, Stevenson, 34, is coming off April’s second-round knockout of Noe Gonzalez, who entered the bout with a mark of 27-1 that included 20 knockouts.
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org