Ex-champ Cloud eyeing ring comeback next year





Tavoris Cloud held the IBF championship for four years, as the first world titlist from Tallahassee.
Photo special to the Outlook

By St. Clair Murraine

Outlook staff writer

 Tavoris Cloud isn’t willing to end his professional boxing career with three straight losses being part of his legacy.

Cloud, the first Tallahassee boxer ever to hold a world boxing championship, said he plans to make a comeback early next year. He also confirmed that he has a one-year agreement with a promoter and a manager.

The last time Cloud was seen in the ring in 2014, he lost by knockout. Two other losses in title fights preceded that.

Cloud won the IBF light heavyweight title in 2009 with a unanimous 12-round decision over Clinton Wood. He made four successful title defenses before suffering his first career loss to Bernard Hopkins in 2013.

Being inactive gave him time to reevaluate his career, said Cloud, who has a 24-3 record with 19 wins by knockout.

“I know I can still do it,” said Cloud, who lives in Orlando, where he trains at Lou Harris’ Boxing Gym. “I still have it. I’m still strong. I don’t want my legacy or my boxing career to end with three losses.”

The comeback plan, according to Richard Burns, who heads up the fledgling Federation Boxing Association, is for him and veteran trainer Johnny Trawick to manager and promote Cloud. Their agreement is for one year, both Cloud and Burns said.

Burns also said Cloud was named light heavyweight champion of the FBA. The plan is to add other recognizable names to a roster of fighters who would be named champions, Burns said.

Right now he’s counting on Cloud to bring credibility to the association, Burns said, while it aligns with promoters and recruits fighter for a ranking.

“We are not just seeking out one promoter. We are seeking out several and he can fight on their cards,” Burns said. “If he wins it would be up to him if he wants to continue fighting for those promoters.”

Cloud, who said he is a free agent after his contract with Don King expired, is preparing to go along with the plan that would lead to his first comeback fight.

Cloud said he doesn’t expect King to interfere with his comeback plans, although previous fights for a comeback were shelved for fear of King intervening.

“You can only worry about things for so long,” Cloud said. “If I come up with a fight he shouldn’t get in the way.”

A comeback essentially means Cloud would be restarting his career from the ground up. Whenever he does begin a comeback it won’t be against a big-name opponent, though, he said.

“We have seen fighters do that in the past,” he said. “They were former champions and they came back and fight a number one contender and take a loss. That is not a smart way of doing it.

“I know if I do it right, which is take my time starting off with low caliber fights and slowly move my way up, I would succeed more.”