Stevenson (21-1, 17 knockouts) is coming off June’s 76-second stoppage of former champion Chad Dawson, while Cloud (24-2, 19 KOs) was derailed as IBF beltholder by Bernard Hopkins in his last fight in March.
Although Stevenson insists he is focused on his next two potential bouts — the optional defense against Cloud, and possibly a Nov. 30 or December fight with Liverpool’s Tony Bellew — the Canadian has envisioned future clashes with IBF 175-pound beltholder Bernard Hopkins and/or RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Despite being in a state of flux regarding his trainers — Cloud was in his first fight with Abel Sanchez against Hopkins after having left longtime cornerman Al Bonani -- the Tallahassee-based fighter said during a Q&A with RingTV.com that Stevenson is making a mistake by looking beyond September.
Tavoris Cloud: It hasn’t been signed, but I would say that it’s probably a couple of days from being closed on the deal. I don’t know the venue yet, but I’m thinking that the venue would be in Montreal.
RingTV.com: Will you be with Abel Sanchez again?
TC: Abel Sanchez? No. No I won’t be with Abel Sanchez. I’m currently training with my amateur coach, Alonzo Johnson, and I’m also trying to get some things worked out with Al Bonani.
There’s a chance that I might go back with Al Bonani. Me and Al Bonani actually got together and reconciled our differences and decided to put all of the BS to the side and all of the differences in personality and s__t like that., you know, for the sake of winning. If he’s not back for this fight, then he’ll definitely be there for the next fight. There really weren’t any issues with Abel Sanchez.
When me and Abel Sanchez finally did get together, we only had a short amount of time to work together, and that’s basically what it was. We didn’t have enough time to do anything.
We barely had the time to get to know each other and develop any kind of chemistry and things like that. I think that it was bad timing on my behalf. I think that it was bad timing to get rid of a trainer like Al Bonani and Alonzo at the same time to go and to try something new when I only had such a short amount of time to get prepared for my fight with Bernard Hopkins.
RingTV.com: So there is nothing personal about your parting with Sanchez?
TC: No. It was just that we didn’t have enough time. We didn’t have enough time, and that’s all. Abel Sanchez and me, we’re cool. If I wanted to go to Big Bear to train, I could definitely go back today or tomorrow to Big Bear.
Abel has basically let me know that if we had had more time, he would love to continue to work with me and things like that, and that if I wanted to leave, that he would have no problem with that.
We don’t take anything personally, and he was very, very professional about it. That’s just where it’s at.
RingTV.com: Given the situation, is this an extremely dangerous fight?
TC: It’s a dangerous fight for him. [Laughs.] It’s a dangerous fight for him, man. I’ve been reading and watching the tweets and stuff that they’re putting up on Twitter, and it don’t seem like he’s focused on me at all.
I think that he’s thinking about three fights from now. He’s totally overlooking Tavoris Cloud, which I know, that’s not the smartest thing for him to do.
But I’m definitely training and working my ass off for everything and I just got back from the gym, I’m in a 100-and-some degree heat index, man, so, you know? I’m going to be ready come back, man.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org