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Dawson vs Cloud: The Waiting is The Hardest Part
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Default Dawson vs Cloud: The Waiting is The Hardest Part - 09-01-2009, 07:54 PM

OK now I get it.

While chatting last week with Tavoris Cloud, I took much of his Chad Dawson doesnt want to fight me rambling as routine verbal chest-thumping from one fighter toward another.

You know the drill.

Hes afraid of me. He knows Ill beat him. Hes running scared.

Its a rant that anyone who interviews boxers for a living has heard a thousand times, and one that anyone who reads boxing stories as a hobby has read a thousand more.

After Friday night, though, Im thinking a little differently.

Maybe, just maybe ol Tavoris has a point.

Upon watching a one-sided 12-round mugging of brave veteran Clinton Woods, Im not so sure Dawsons decision to steer clear of Cloud was based solely on business acumen.

No question, the IBO champion will cash a check with a few more zeroes against Glen Johnson this fall than he would have had he decided to keep the IBF belt and face Cloud as his mandatory.

The Johnson rematch, after all, is one fans have been calling for since the Road Warrior gave Bad Chad all he wanted in a spirited 12-rounder in Tampa in April 2008.

Johnson is a two-decade fan favorite whos been in with the best of three weight classes, beaten several and has been entertaining more often than not in doing so.

Meanwhile Cloud, prior to Friday nights featured slot on basic cable, was a comparatively inactive prospect that few non-hardcore fans had even heard of, let alone seen.

Not exactly the recipe for a burgeoning bank account.

But there may be a little more to it than numbers.

Against a legitimate Top 10 foe in Woods arguably his first in 20 fights Cloud showed the same sort of determined, aggressive style that Johnson employed while convincing more than just a few people that hed done enough to deserve a decision over Dawson 17 months ago.

And while Woods admittedly hadnt distinguished himself in two prior trips from England and did little more to do so this time around, that didnt make the 27-year-old Tallahassee natives effort in beating him any less impressive.

His punches were short and jarring. His combinations were frequent and fluid. His stamina, though hed been 10 rounds just once, was as evident at the last bell as it had been at the first.

And in the long run for Dawson any trepidation notwithstanding its all good news.

Presuming he gets past Johnson in November and assuming Cloud is able to wade through an initial defense or two of his new crown, the youngsters coming-out party might be the first bit of foundation upon which to construct the light heavyweight divisions next big event.

Imagine if you will a pair of unbeaten 175-pound champions.

Ones a well-rounded boxer. The others a menacing knockout artist.

Each builds a resume and a following before getting together to unify the division, step forward as pound-for-pound elites and presuming the PPV executives come calling cash bigger paychecks than had the bout been rushed together a year or two too soon.

Lucrative evidence that instant gratification isnt always the best thing.

And come late 2010 or early 2011, remember where you heard it first.

* * * * * * * * * *

If Timothy Bradley wants another crack at Nate Campbell, it's his for the asking.

That according to Campbell's manager, Terry Trekas, who claimed the Californian will steer clear of reprising the aborted three-round WBO junior welterweight title bout that was declared a no-contest by the California State Athletic Commission last week.

The original Aug. 1 verdict was a TKO in favor of Bradley, after Campbell was rendered unable to continue by a severe cut over his left eye. Referee David Mendoza ruled the cut the result of a punch, but video replay showed it came from an accidental head butt, prompting the reversal.

"If Bradley wants a rematch to settle things once and for all, he can get it," Trekas said. "But we both know he doesn't want it."

Bradley, in an Aug. 25 story on mydesert.com, contends Campbell quit because he was losing.

"It had nothing to do with the cut," he said. "They said it was from the impact from the head butt where he couldn't see. I was like 'no, it was all those punches that landed on those eyes.'

"The fight was stopped because you couldn't see. It had nothing to do with the cut. I didn't understand it. I know he quit and he knows in his heart he quit. No one sees that. That's the reason I'm upset. Everyone knows he quit.

Bradley is rumored headed for a mandatory title defense against unbeaten Lamont Peterson in early December, perhaps as part of a Showtime tripleheader that would also feature Vic Darchinyan and Joan Guzman.

* * * * * * * * * *

This weeks non-boxing thoughts:

Ive decided that fire ants have vaulted past Boston Red Sox fans to become the biggest scourges on Earth. Not only are they irritating and plentiful much like the Johnny-Come-Lately Nation but they also pack a bite thats guaranteed to leave you scratching for days.

If anyone out theres got a remedy to decimate millions at a time, send it over.

Upon locking keys in my car at Home Depot and not having proper break-in tools, I summoned help from AAA on Sunday, resulting in a kind soul from Big Sky Road Service arriving within minutes to pop the door and free me to continue draining my bank account.

But what I didnt request was the out-of-work stand-up comic in the next parking spot, who, after I reached in and grabbed the keys, piped in with see, they werent lost, they were right there in the car the whole time, then cackled as if he was the funniest man in history.

I didnt say anything, but all I was thinking as I stared at him was, Is that really the best you could do, jackass?

* * * * * * * * * *

This weeks title-fight schedule:

FRIDAY

WBO junior bantamweight title Rama, Ontario
Jose Lopez (champion) vs. Marvin Sonsona (No. 6 contender)
Lopez (39-7-2, 32 KO): First title defense; Lost first four WBO title fights
Sonsona (13-0, 12 KO): First career title fight; Won 12 straight fights by KO
FitzHitz says: Sonsona in 5

Last weeks picks: 5-0
Overall picks record: 32-10 (76.1 percent)
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