Tavoris Cloud puts his IBF light heavyweight title on the line against Gabriel Campillo on February 18. (Photo by David Martin/Don King Productions)
"This fight will be a defense of my IBF title. Come Feb. 18 I will have been in camp some four months so I'm in great shape and I'm ready and willing to deal with all challenges. I'm going to come and put on a great show just like I always do. There ain't going to be no ducking and dodging. I'm going to go straight to my opponent. I just hope my opponent is ready which I believe he is. On Feb. 18 I'll be there doing my thing.
"When I fight heard that (Zsolt) Erdei wasn't going to be able to fight I thought bullshit. He didn't hurt his hand. He just doesn't want to fight. He ain't prepared to fight and he's just looking for a way out. At first I was depressed about it but I got over that. We got another fight. We got Campillo and he's stepped up to the plate and I'm glad he did. I'm just here to do my job and to take out anyone they put in front of me. I'm not going to over think the situation. My goal is to get into the ring on the 18th and do my job and then go home to my wife and kids.
"Campillo has stepped up and taken the fight. Showtime stepped up and stayed true to their word and they gave us a new date. I appreciate Showtime for that. I'm not thinking about the past, I'm thinking about the future. I'm just going to keep on winning fights."
Is it important to not only win this fight but look impressive doing it?
"It's always important to put a stamp on the fight because I'm a person who just believes people respect knockouts more than they respect decisions. Those are the types of fights the fans like."
Would you be in favor of a tournament-style format for your division?
"If anyone could get a tournament and get every one together I would be impressed and happy to be a part of it. Maybe we do need to do a tournament like a Super Six or something like that for the light heavyweight division.
"I don't have a problem fighting southpaws. I've got the best trainer in the world. Just ring the bell. Just ring the bell.
"I just don't give a damn. I don't care how hard they train. I don't care who their trainer is. I know I've trained harder than them and my trainer is better than theirs. They are trying to come and take something that people have tried to take from me several times. It's like I'm defending my house and I've got thieves trying to break in. I've gotten pretty good at it. I can't put it into words what I plan to do to my opponent. I'm going out there to win and put on a good show."
"I feel very lucky to be on a Showtime fight and fighting against Tavoris Cloud. I've been training really hard and I'm ready for the fight. I've been waiting my entire life to fight a big fight like this so I will be ready.
"I'm preparing everything with my coach and trainer Pablo Sarmiento to come up with a game plan to win this fight. I'm going to show on the day of this fight how fast I am and how hard I have trained for this fight."
You are coming off a draw in your last fight, but what about your last loss to Beibut Shumenov? How difficult was it to come back to move on after that loss when a lot of people thought you won that fight?
"After that fight I was obviously very disappointed. I just tried to find the positives and to know that I put on a pretty good fight for the viewers. After that fight I never really stopped thinking that I wasn't the real champion of the world. Never.
What specifically do you think you have in your favor over Cloud that will enable you to pull off this victory?
"No. 1 is better physical condition and then more speed and quickness and then intelligence and smarts."
DON KING, Cloud's promoter
"We are going to have a sensational show on Feb. 18. It's going to be a day that will be marked by friend and foe alike as a battle of the ages. I think Tavoris Cloud is the best light heavyweight in the world and we intend to prove that, so we are calling every one out on this night. After he diminishes this great young fighter, Gabriel Campillo, we will then move on to greatness. I was talking to Bernard Hopkins and he was saying how we should start a light heavyweight tournament and I said by all means, and that he and Tavoris can open it up.
"We take anyone and everything as quickly as possible, right after one another. We haven't been getting the TV dates and we haven't been getting the fighters we've wanted to fight because everyone is afraid to face us. So what we will do to stop that is put up a ground swell of public support and opinion that Tavoris Cloud is the best in the world, and if you don't believe that you better come and disprove that."
On the prospects of a tournament
"I think if Tavoris goes in there and does his business there will be a public demand and public outcry for it. I think that's why we are losing and not gaining constituents because no one wants to challenge anyone and they are manipulating and maneuvering around for their own selfish and vested interests. We want to fight each and every one of them, tournament or otherwise. We want to fight Bernard Hopkins to (Jean) Pascal or whoever else is out there who has a title. We will take on whoever they consider is the best as quickly as we possibly can. A tournament would be a super attraction as to who is really the best and not just a verbalization of it.
"I would like to see him fight Bernard Hopkins if he can get Bernard. That's the best name out there and the oldest name out there."
SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ, Campillo's Promoter
"I really appreciate that no one believes in my boxer and I think that everyone is underestimating my fighter. I will see you on the 18th and it will not be the first time that one of my fighters will come out victorious when everyone in the press says that my guy has no shot. Thank you very much."