Tavoris Cloud Retains IBF Light-Heavyweight Belt With Controversial Split Decision Win Over Gabriel Campillo

By James Slater - Last night, on the Paul Williams WU12 Nobuhiro Ishida card that also saw heavyweight contender Chris Arreola crush Eric Molina in the very 1st-round, boxing saw yet another controversial, debatable decision on the part of the judges. IBF 175-pound champ Tavoris Cloud retained both his belt and his unbeaten record with a much tougher that expected split decision points win over Spain’s former WBA light-heavy champ Gabriel Campillo.

As soon as the decision was announced, however, there were screams of robbery. Winning by scores of 116-110 and 114-112 and losing by a score of 115-111 on the third card, 30-year-old Cloud improved to 24-0(19). Southpaw Campillo, in dropping to 21-4-1(8) was deemed a very unlucky man by a number of fans and experts.

Two 1st-round knockdowns scored by the aggressive Cloud proved crucial in the result that went his way, yet after the opening session the 33-year-old challenger came back very well, troubling the younger man with his tricky style. Cutting Cloud over both eyes (Cloud said post-fight that the laces on Campillo’s gloves caused the damage), the challenger scored well with uppercuts to the head and with body shots.

Cloud, sensing he was behind, gave it all he had in the closing rounds, pulling out the win on two of the official cards. Looking around on the web sites, though, shows that not too many experts agree with the win Cloud got. Already, some are calling last night’s split decision the robbery of the year. Naturally Cloud disagrees. But what next for the IBF champ?

Cloud is rough, tough and exciting, but he can be outboxed, as shown last night. Guys like Nathan Cleverly and Chad Dawson will no doubt feel they would beat him. Maybe Cloud should give the unfortunate Campillo a return fight before he moves on to someone else.

Article posted on 19.02.2012

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