By Phil Doherty
Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs) is in Montreal this week preparing to challenge Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 KOs) for Stevenson’s newly-won WBC light heavyweight crown. Stevenson will have the home-ring advantage with twenty thousand Quebecois fight fans. Cloud will have longtime trainers Alonzo Johnson and Al Bonanni.
It seems a tough challenge for the challenger, who relinquished the IBF light heavyweight belt to eternally young Bernard Hopkins last March. However, Cloud started fighting tough odds pretty much from the day he was born into abject poverty in Tallahassee, Florida. Raised in tenement conditions with more than ten people in a single small home, Cloud grew up quick. He decided at fourteen he would take care of his family and change their situation. His journey now finds him poised to do just that once again.
Fightnews caught up with him as he finalized preparations for the HBO-televised event this Saturday.
Tavoris, you’re back in line for a world title belt so soon after losing yours to Hopkins. How hungry are you?
Hungrier than I ever was. I’m going to get the title back.
You threw substantially fewer punches against Hopkins than we’re accustomed to seeing from you, how come?
In that fight I was just off my game, I plan to get back to throwing more punches in this fight and winning the world title again.
You’re reunited with trainer Al Bonanni again, how was your camp?
Camp was really good, I always train hard with Bonanni, it’s old-school training and it pays off.
You’re in against a hard-punching southpaw champion in this fight. Given the difficulty you had against your last unorthodox opponent Gabriel Campillo, what is the plan for victory?
I’m gonna get up in his ass and be unorthodox myself.
Are you looking for the knockout or do you feel confident you can get a fair decision in Montreal if it comes to that?
Well, I’m not planning to leave the decision in the judges’ hands but I’m confident they will be fair. I just need to make sure I do enough to win the fight and I plan to do that.