The season finale of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights is shaping up to be a good one, with two major title fights that have plenty of intrigue and good chances for knockout finishes.
The double main event in Hollywood, FL, at the Seminole Hard Rock will feature venue regular Juan Urango (21-2-1, 16 KO) defending his IBF junior welterweight title against hard-punching veteran Randall Bailey (39-6, 35 KO), as well as a vacant IBF light heavyweight title clash between rugged Englishman Clinton Woods (42-4-1, 24 KO) and another big puncher, young Tavoris Cloud (19-0, 18 KO).
``Winning a world title will be a lifelong dream accomplished,'' Cloud said after a workout Saturday at Canino's Kickboxing and Boxing Gym in Dania Beach. ``I know this is a huge opportunity, and that's why I have worked out so hard for the fight.''
Cloud, 27, earned an IBF mandatory challenger ranking thanks to his 19-0 record and 18 knockouts. The sanctioning body's title became vacant after Chad Dawson renounced the belt and opted for a bout against Miami's Glen Johnson in November.
``I am not upset that Dawson decided not to fight me,'' Cloud said. ``Sooner or later I was going to fight for a title, whether it was Dawson or someone else.''
Woods has been among the top 10 light heavyweights the past eight years, including a three-year run as IBF champion.
``He might have the experience and more fights, but that won't mean anything when he gets in the ring,'' Cloud said. ``All Clinton Woods needs to do is show up, and I'll take care of the rest.''
Despite the fact that Cloud is from Florida, this will be his first fight in the state since his pro debut in 2004. He has operated mostly in the midwest, with his last 10 fights taking place in Illinois and the previous four in Indiana. The rest of his fights took place in North Carolina.
Cloud also hasn't fought in over a year, which I still say is one of the bigger problems he had in landing a fight with Dawson. He stayed inactive, didn't build a name at all, and sat on his mandatory ranking. If he's rusty at all, the crafty Woods could well take the "0" and deny him that title he wants.
We will have live, round-by-round coverage and scoring of FNF this week, as I'm quite looking forward to both of these fights.