A light heavyweight world championship showdown, potentially the division's best matchup in years between two young fighters in their prime, has been confirmed for Saturday, Aug. 11, at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Undefeated IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., defends his title against popular hometown favorite and former WBC light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) on Showtime Championship Boxing live on Showtime.
The co-feature will match budding Canadian knockout artist Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, (18-1, 15 KOs) of Montreal, Canada, against an opponent to be announced in a super middleweight bout.
Cloud is known as a no-nonsense power puncher, who comes right at his opponents with few frills. Pascal may not equal Cloud in work rate, but his footwork and explosive combinations make for a compelling matchup between ferocious punchers. Both men will be coming in to not only win, but to make a statement as the best puncher in one of boxing's glamor divisions.
The 5-foot-10, 30-year-old Cloud will be making the fifth defense of the then-vacant 175-pound title he won via 12-round unanimous decision over Clinton Woods on Aug. 28, 2009. The hard-hitting, 29-year-old successfully defended against Glen Johnson (unanimous decision, June 7, 2010), Fulgencio Zuniga (unanimous decision, Dec. 17, 2010) and Yusaf Mack (TKO 8, June 28, 2011) before winning a controversial split decision over Gabriel Campillo in February.
“This fight with Jean Pascal is a bout I’m looking forward to,” said Cloud. “It’s going to be what I call a ‘Release the Kraken’ match. Everybody knows I come to fight. What I like about Pascal is that he doesn’t fool around either. When I look for him, he will be there, and the same goes for me.
"Fans like to see leather thrown with bad intentions, and that’s what they are going to get in Montreal on August 11."
The 5-foot-10 ½-inch, 29-year-old Pascal is currently ranked No. 2 by” The Ring” and in the top 10 in three of the four major organizations. Since his first world title fight in 2009, Pascal has defeated Chad Dawson (via 11th-round technical decision in 2010), Adrian Diaconu twice and fought the legendary Bernard Hopkins to a thrilling draw in December 2010. In the second of back-to-back meetings with Hopkins last May, Pascal lost his title by a very close decision.
"First, I want to thank Tavoris Cloud for giving me the opportunity to fight for his IBF light heavyweight belt and to prove who I really am in the ring,” said Pascal. "He has shown true class seeking out the best challenger in the division and for this he has my full respect.
"Our styles make for the best, most explosive and spectacular fight possible in boxing. Having been away from the ring for more than a year, I am hungrier and more determined than ever to get back on top. Don’t miss it August 11 in Montreal. I am going to get back on the throne for good."
Throughout a career that began in August 2004, Cloud has been a road warrior. He’s fought only three times in his native Florida. Pascal, conversely, has had all but two of his fights in Canada.
Stevenson has notched 15 knockouts in 19 professional fights in his climb up the rankings. The Canadian southpaw super middleweight is currently No. 2 in IBF, No. 3 in WBC and No. 7 in the WBA and WBO.
"I am so proud to be making my Showtime debut fighting in this major event in Montreal,” said Stevenson. “I am on a mission to destroy anybody that has the courage to get in the ring with me. I am not looking for any favors or compassion. My goal is to show the world that I truly deserve to be on a major network fighting Carl Froch for his IBF belt. Watch me make a major statement August 11 on Showtime."
Trained by the renowned Emmanuel Steward, Stevenson got a late start in the professional ranks with a 2006 debut at the age of 29. Now a six year pro, Stevenson has maintained his penchant for knockouts as he’s stepped up the class of competition. In his last five starts, against opponents with a combined record of 107-8, he has overwhelmed them all, winning four of five inside three rounds. The lone exception is a ninth-round KO of Aaron Pryor Jr.
In all, 12 of his 15 knockouts have come inside three rounds.
The 5-foot-11, 34-year-old Stevenson won a WBC Silver belt with a second-round TKO over Noe Gonzalez (27-1 going in) in his most recent outing last April 20 at Bell Centre.