There’s a problem with every narrative I’ve read about this weekend’s upcoming fight between Bernard Hopkins and Tavaris Cloud.
Bernard Hopkins is 48-years-old and still boxing. Don King is 81-years-old and still promoting fights. They are both involved in a championship fight on HBO at the Barclays Center this Saturday (March 9) but little is being said about 31-year-old Tavoris Cloud.
As IBF Lightweight Heavyweight Champion, Cloud is the man that should be floating through most headlines for this match-up. I caught up with the Florida native to discuss his upcoming bout with Hopkins, his motivation and his love for fishing.
VIBE: You're fighting a legend. What is it going to take to defeat Bernard Hopkins?
Cloud: It’s going to take Tavoris Cloud (laughs). It’s going to take a young, hungry fighter and an immovable champion. I refused to be moved.
If you win, it will be your sixth title defense of. What's next? Maybe a new weight class?
I'm thinking about going up and challenging the Klitschkos (laughs). If I don’t move up, I'll go down and fight Nathan Cleverly, the WBO Light Heavyweight champ.
What’s your motivation?
I’m motivated by other guys wanting to fight me. They want to take what’s mine. I can’t let that happen. The longer I can hold them back, the greater I’ll be. To fight with a fighter with the caliber of Bernard Hopkins is motivation right there. He’s a legend still. How many people get the opportunity to fight a legend?
Will you ever fight Chad Dawson? Do you think he's dodging you?
Yeah, he’s dodging. I’ve been calling him out since 2008. He’s a ducking individual. He ducks everyone. Whenever he’s ready, I’m ready and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Talk about the current state of boxing and what it's going to take to get it back to where it once used to be?
We just have make sure the best fighters are fighting each other. UFC and other mixed martial arts organizations have the best going against the best and they let the cards fall where they fall. We’ve got to stop protecting fighters and their records so much. If you get you ass beat, get back up and fight again.
Beside yourself, name some fighters that you like to watch fight?
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Pacman has taken some lumps lately but I still like to watch him fight. He’s an offensive fighter, takes chances and moves up in weight class. He’ll fight anybody. Most of the fighters from 140 to 154 lbs are fun to watch.
If there was an HBO 24/7 on you, what would people learn about you that they didn't know before?
They’d learn that I’m just like them. I have ups and downs. I’m a family man. Me and my wife get into spats and we work them out like regular people. They’ll see the hard work that a champion has to put in to stay champion, the balanced life I live as a husband, father, and just taking care of my responsibilities as a man. They’ll also find out I’m the best fisherman in the world. I need my own fishing show. I like fishing and hunting.
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The fight airs live on HBO beginning at 9:30pm ET/PT on March 9.