Thursday, July 26, 2012
Stevenson-George to headline?
By Dan Rafael
Although promoters Yvon Michel and Don King and Showtime announced on Wednesday that the fight between light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud and former champ Jean Pascal -- scheduled for Aug. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal -- had been postponed because of Pascal's right hand injury, the co-feature will likely be rescheduled more quickly.
That fight is supposed to pit Quebec super middleweight Adonis Stevenson (18-1, 15 KOs) against Don George (22-2-1, 19 KOs) of Chicago in an elimination bout, with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger for titleholder Carl Froch.
Several opponents turned down Stevenson, a huge puncher, before George accepted the fight. George was reached in the rankings after everyone ahead of him had either declined or was unavailable.
Michel, Stevenson's promoter, and Leon Margules and Dominic Pesoli, who co-promote George, didn't want to delay the fight for too long, especially because Cloud-Pascal probably won't be rescheduled until at least October.
Michel told me that he is in talks with Showtime exec Steven Espinoza about separating Stevenson-George from Cloud-Pascal and having the fight headline its own "ShoBox: The New Generation" date.
Michel said the time frame they are discussing would be late August or early September, meaning the fight would be delayed only for a few weeks.
Meantime, Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs), idle for 15 months since losing his title to Bernard Hopkins in their rematch, said he was crushed to have to postpone the fight with Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs).
"To tell you the truth, I was so sad when the decision was made that I even cried," Pascal said at Wednesday's news conference in Montreal to announce the postponement. "This is the first time it's happened to me for a fight. I haven't fought in 15 months, and this was a golden opportunity for me. Thanks to everybody involved for rescheduling. This will make me stronger when I get in the ring."
According to Michel, Pascal has a bone bruise that he suffered in sparring about two weeks ago.
King ripped Pascal for the postponement.
"Pascal has Tavorisitis," he said. "He needs more time to get his courage up to fight this smaller version of [Mike] Tyson. Tavoris is of the Tyson ilk. He's a search-and-destroy kind of guy."