Jean Pascal hasn't signed to fight Tavoris Cloud, but Cloud has put pen to paper already. (Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime)
Tavoris Cloud has signed a contract to face Jean Pascal on Showtime later this year, with no set date in play yet, and is waiting for Pascal to put pen to paper for the fight, too. Lem Satterfield reports that Cloud has his doubts, and at this point, with Pascal's negotiations having consistently gone nowhere for the last year, it's hard to blame him. From Lem Satterfield at RingTV.com:
"Pascal just has to make the decision. But if he feels that he needs $5 million to fight me, so that he can have a nice retirement, then the fight probably won't happen. But if he really wants to make a fight and accept the offer, then the fight should happen. I heard that they were offering him $1 million, and that it went up a little higher from that."
Whatever the offer is, it's really as good a fight and as good a deal as Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO) is likely to get at this point. He lost his last fight to a 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins and hasn't fought since, and he's never been a big star or anything -- he's a better draw in Quebec than almost anyone else in the division is anywhere, so he has some say in what's what with this stuff, but if he wants to fight, this is what there is for him.
Cloud, who controversially scored a decision win over Gabriel Campillo in February, says he's eager to get back into the ring, and prove his performance against Campillo was a fluke, but I'm not sure that's really possible. Cloud didn't fight badly, he was just outclassed by a very good fighter. He showed a lot of grit and a lot of heart in that fight, but he didn't really win, and by calling it a fluke performance, I think he's acknowledging that he got lucky to get out with his IBF belt and his undefeated record.
If Pascal does not sign to fight, it'll be time to stop taking him seriously, unless it's something like Don King wanting way too many options on him after or whatever. There are certainly valid reasons he may not take this fight, but right now it sounds like it's pretty much down the middle, and a fight that should happen. Keep your fingers crossed.