Tavoris Cloud will defend his IBF light heavyweight title this summer on Showtime against Jean Pascal, BoxingScene.com reports, and two dates are being discussed: July 7 and August 11.
The fight was first discussed last year, but negotiations sank under the weight of Don King's demands for Cloud, an all-too-familiar position for his fighters to face in recent years. It came up again early this month, with reports of the fight on April 4, and then two days later it was reported that Cloud signed for the fight and was waiting for Pascal and promoter Yvon Michel to do the same.
Currently, neither date in question has a major American fight set (even if the fight winds up as expected in Canada, it will be prime time boxing on American TV, obviously). The July date would set up boxing fans with an afternoon of Klitschko vs Thompson II and Kell Brook in action (probably against Carson Jones), with Cloud vs Pascal that evening.
Cloud (24-0, 19 KO) is coming off of a robbery win over Spain's Gabriel Campillo on February 18 in Texas, which was the worst decision of the year for a little less than a month, but stylistically, Pascal is definitely a more favorable matchup. Both of them are come-forward fighters who prefer to lead the action, so there is some explosive potential here. Both fighters also have some gas tank questions, as Pascal has faded down the stretch of his last three fights, and Cloud had trouble keeping a good pace against Campillo.
Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO) has become boxing's socialite fighter following May 2011 loss to Bernard Hopkins in Montreal, a very visible figure, at pretty much every notable fight, but curiously not in the ring. He had a potential December return lined up, but it fell through, as have other talks, including a WBC tournament and a fight with Zsolt Erdei.