Promoter Yvon Michel confirmed today that a September 28 fight between Adonis Stevenson and Tavoris Cloud is finalized and official for the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. HBO will televise the bout, which will have Stevenson making his first defense of the WBC light heavyweight title he won on June 8 from Chad Dawson.
Stevenson (21-1, 18 KO) knocked out Dawson in just 76 seconds two months ago, a stunning victory in his move up to 175 pounds, after long competing at 168 and angling unsuccessfully for title shots in that division. Though his power is impressive and very real, Stevenson may have a tougher assignment with Cloud (24-1, 19 KO), a fresher and more aggressive fighter who should be willing to go toe-to-toe if he has to do so.
The 31-year-old Cloud is coming off of his first career loss, a fairly predictable outclassing at the hands of Bernard Hopkins in March. Both fighters have power, the difference being that Stevenson's has proved out against his better opposition, while Cloud's really hasn't.
But it's a good fight, and about as credible a challenger as is available for Stevenson's first defense. It's certainly no pushover, and we could very well see a short title reign. Cloud has often been forced for one reason or another to take long sabbaticals from the ring, but this time he gets a fairly quick turnaround. Maybe that will make him a little sharper than we've seen in his last couple of fights.
The winner is mandated to defend the title within 90 days of their fight against Tony Bellew, as well, as Bellew is currently the WBC's mandatory challenger.