Tavoris Cloud: I believe Hopkins has a chance at winning but Im still rooting for Pascal

by Geoffrey Ciani - This weeks 104th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with reigning IBF light heavyweight champion of the world Tavoris Cloud (21-0, 18 KOs), who is scheduled to defend his title against Fulgencio Zuniga (24-4-1, 21 KOs) today, December 17 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Cloud spoke about his upcoming fight and always shared his opinions on other topics including Hopkins-Pascal, Chad Dawson, Carl Froch, and more! Here is what he had to say:

On what he expects when he faces Fulgencio Zuniga:

Oh, Im expecting a good fight. Were well prepared. Im just expecting a good fight and Im going to go out there and perform for the crowd and give them what they want to see.

His response to criticisms that Fulgencio Zuniga is not worthy of a title shot:

I think Zuniga is a good opponent, a worthy opponent, and Im not taking him lightly and Im not looking down on him as an opponent. Thats their opinion, but Im definitely not looking down on him as an opponent. Im taking him seriously, and hey, the man is dangerous. He has twenty-one knockouts so lets get in there and mix it up regardless of what anybody has to say.

On how his training preparations have gone for this fight:

Training camp has been great. Im back down in Miami training. Im in great shape ready for whatever comes my way. December 17 Im looking to put on another great show, and hopefully after this we can go ahead and get a bigger fight.

His views on the upcoming WBC light heavyweight title fight between Jean Pascal and challenger Bernard Hopkins:

Im hoping that, well Im rooting for the younger guy Pascal to win the fight and hopefully me and him can have a unification, not only for the titles but of youth, somewhere in the near future in 2011.

On whether he believes it would be bad for boxing if Bernard Hopkins beat Jean Pascal given Hopkins age:

No. I mean if he can win the fight, he can win the fight. The best man will always win, and if at 45 years old he can win the championship. He has a chance at winning. I believe Hopkins has a chance at winning but Im still rooting for Pascal. If he wins then he just wins.

His views on Glen Johnsons knockout victory against Allan Green in the Super Six:

Well you know I actually thought that moving down in weight would hurt Glen Johnson, but it didnt in this particular fight. He looked good. He went down and got the knockout. Hey, Glen Johnson is a good fighter. He is very determined. Hes a solid fighter and more power to him. Good for Glen Johnson.

On whether he was surprised that Chad Dawson lost against Jean Pascal:

You know Im never surprised at what happens in boxing because I know as a fighter that anything can happen inside that ring and its just a sport where anything can happen. Any time two men get inside this ring anything can happen.

His views on Super Six favorites Andre Ward and Carl Froch as potential future opponents in the light heavyweight division:

Yeah, I mean if those guys move up I would love to fight. I would love to fight Froch more than anything. Hopefully we can make these fights when we start having unification bouts and the 168 pounders start moving up. The IBF title will always be up for grabs. The only thing they got to do is come take it from me.

On whether he would still potentially be interested in a match against Chad Dawson:

Number one about Chad Dawson, is right now I dont believe I can fight Chad Dawson because hes not in the world rankings. If I fight him for the IBF title, even if I lose my title, so I dont believe I can even fight Chad Dawson as of right now for a title defense or anything like that. As of right now it just doesnt make sense to fight Chad Dawson. You know maybe if he gets his title back or gets any kind of title we can lock up and do what were supposed to do.

His views on a potential fight against Jean Pascal if he were to defeat Bernard Hopkins:

I know Id come out with a victory. Thats all I would say. It wouldnt be a game of tag like the last fight he had. I wouldnt put the people through that, but I assume that it would be an action-packed from start to finish. There wouldnt be any running or ducking on my behalf. Id just go in there and do what I got to do and get out.

On whether he believes he will ever move up to compete in the cruiserweight division:

In t he future, I more than likely will move up, but as long as I can make 175 Im going to make it. Ive been at this division my whole entire boxing career and Im not planning on going anywhere any time soon.

On how active he plans to be in 2011:

Well I plan to be as busy as I can possibly be. I at least want to have two fights a year and if everything goes right, even more. Lets have three fights a year. Lets have four fights a year. If they want to start unifying titles, if we start getting the big fights, I mean hey lets live. Lets do it! Lets go on a spree. Lets go on a belt-grabbing spree. Lets fight every three months. Lets do it. Im with it.

On whether he is at all disappointed that this fight is not being broadcast on American television:

I mean its sad that this fight wont have major television coverage because its going to be a great fight. Its going to be a great performance. But does it bother me? Does it affect me as a person? No. I just have to go in there and do what I have to do regardless of whether its on the big screen or not.

His official prediction for his upcoming fight against Fulgencio Zuniga:

My prediction is cloudy weatherits going to be raining bombs with a lot of thunder. So get prepared.


For those interested in listening to the Tavoris Cloud interview in its entirety, it begins approximately forty-seven minutes into the program.


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Article posted on 17.12.2010

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