Adonis Stevenson vs Tavoris Cloud – DBB Fight Preview
(Poster given to DBB courtesy of HBO Sports)
By Peter Wells
It has always been a known fact in the sport of boxing that the higher the weight class the later the fighter will peak. So with Adonis Stevenson 21-1(18) and Tavoris Clouds 24-1(19) combined age of 67, and with neither fight surpassing 30 fights it adds to the legend that these two Light Heavyweight fighters are either just entering their peak or a few fights away.
Some believe that Cloud, the younger fighter by 5 years, has already hit and left behind his prime, recent performances have gradually gotten worse, for the 31 year old the whispers that this may be his last chance saloon are deafening. Yet in many other weight classes this shot at a world title would not have been afforded to him, signalling the lack of depth in the 175lbs division.
That may be unfair though, Cloud has mixed recently with the cream of the crop in the Light Heavyweight ranks, only top names Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal are missing off his ledger, albeit he was scheduled to fight Pascal this year before the contest was postponed and he was offered a crack at the WBC title.
The champion is former Super Middleweight contender Adonis Stevenson. The French-Canadian charged onto the Light Heavyweight scene when demolishing the division’s kingpin Chad Dawson in one round. While Dawson may not have been himself that night, having just moved back up from an ill-advised bout with Andre Ward at Super Middleweight, but the way in which Stevenson set up and delivered the left hand that ended the contest was sublime.
It is so easy to forget just what Cloud has done thus far in his career, having held the IBF title for more than 3 years. Prior to his title clinching effort against Clinton Woods, Tavoris had destroyed and retired Mike Wood in one round before stopping Julio Cesar Gonzalez in 10 rounds. Then after beating Woods in a thoroughly entertaining 12 round bout, he moved on to outpoint the always tough Glen Johnson, that was quickly followed by a one-sided victory over Fulgencio Zuniga and an eighth round stoppage of Yusaf Mack.
Then came his controversial split decision win over Gabriel Campillo, in which the majority had Campillo ahead. But lest we forget just how awkward Campillo can be, the styles didn’t blend and Cloud was unfairly blamed for this, yet those who witnessed his title winning contest against Woods would know just how enthralling the American can be.
That contest was followed by a drab defeat at the hands of the ageless magician Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins confused and frustrated Cloud into defeat rather than schooling him like he did when breaking Kelly Pavlik’s heart. The defeat may not have taken as much out of Cloud as some would suggest.
Stevenson’s road to glory has come in rather more simple fashion. His only career defeat was avenged when beating gatekeeper Darnell Boone in 6 earlier this calendar year. To add to the Dawson KO he also has frightening wins against Derek Edwards (KO 3), Jesus Gonzalez (KO 1), Noe Gonzalez Alcoba (TKO 2) and Don George (TKO 12).
So while Cloud’s recent form suggests he has little chance in this contest, one must not forget that Stevenson’s more open aggressive style may be more suited to Cloud’s similar boxer/puncher technique.
Expect the early rounds to consist of a chess match from centre ring, before both fighters begin to bring in the heavy artillery. With Cloud being wary of Stevenson’s left hand and Adonis equally concerned about Tavoris’ right hand there is a chance this fight may become a bore, but the risk taker within Stevenson will begin to come out, leaving openings for both fighters. Nothing can be said about either fighters chin thus far in their careers so the pick is for this fight to go to the scorecards. Stevenson’s slightly more aggressive nature may leave him open but it should also be enough to impress the judges for them to award the champion with a close but unanimous victory.
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