Tavoris Cloud could be defending his IBF belt against Jean Pascal. (Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime)
Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal both say they're ready to go for a fight against one another, with Cloud's IBF title on the line, but no deal has been made.
Cloud (24-0, 19 KO) is coming off of a controversial decision win over Gabriel Campillo on February 18. Campillo's appeal for an immediate rematch was turned down, which made Karo Murat the No. 1 contender to Cloud's belt. But Murat has agreed to step aside, Jake Donovan reports at BoxingScene.com, opening up a bigger fight against former light heavyweight champ Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO).
Pascal hasn't fought since losing to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011, but you can't really say he's disappeared, since he shows up at a lot of fights and is frequently involved in fights that almost happen but ultimately do not.
Pascal's adviser Greg Leon says both sides have verbally agreed to terms, according to Ryan Burton at BoxingScene.com, and that they're just waiting on an exact date from Showtime, who would televise the bout in the States.
I'm sure we all agree this is a good fight in just about every way, and we'll hope it happens. But no matter who is to blame every time, I now have a hard time getting excited about reports of a Pascal fight, and I always have a hard time getting excited about reports of a Don King-promoted fighter fighting. This fight is risky for both, but it's the type of fight that should happen. I think there's more to gain losing to a fellow top fighter than there is to gain beating someone everyone knows you'll beat. I sometimes believe there's a push-and-pull fight between boxing's promoters and fans, and that they're reluctant to believe that losses really don't matter if they're good losses.
For example, when did you think more about Andre Berto? Was it wins over the likes of Michel Trabant, Miki Rodriguez, and Freddy Hernandez? Or was it stuff like his tough, close win over Luis Collazo and his great fight and loss to Victor Ortiz? For me, it's the latter. I don't know, maybe nobody likes good fights that could go either way. Maybe it's just me over here.