Tavoris Cloud will have to defend his belt against Karo Murat, but could still face Jean Pascal next spring. (Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime)
A fight between IBF light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal won't be happening this year, though the involved parties are at least saying they'd like to keep the fight in mind until spring 2013, when it might be easier to land an American TV date.
Cloud vs Pascal was originally scheduled for August 11, but was called off when Pascal suffered a hand injury in training. There was early hope that the bout would be moved to October 13, but the Showtime date that night has instead gone to Golden Boy, the company which has started to largely take over Showtime's boxing programming in 2012.
Cloud also has to deal with mandatory challenger Karo Murat, who has been waiting for his title shot and has grown impatient, perhaps properly fearing that Cloud's team are in no rush to make a fight with him -- not because they're afraid of Murat, or even that it's a bad fight (it's fine), but the reality is Murat is a total unknown in the States and to American TV. Pascal is a former champion with some big fights under his belt. It's expected that Cloud vs Murat will take place in November. I'm sure Wealth TV or someone will pick it up here.
If Pascal fights this year, it will be in December, but we've heard about numerous Jean Pascal fight dates since he was last in the ring in May 2011, losing to Bernard Hopkins, and they've all fallen to pieces.
The fight falling apart has also left Cloud with a fairly lengthy inactive spell, and will mean that he only fights twice at best this year. He last was in the ring in February, when he won an incredibly controversial decision over Gabriel Campillo in Texas.