Tavoris Cloud (20-0, 18 KOs) is hoping to get a shot at the king of the light heavyweights Chad Dawson sometime soon. But Glen Johnson (50-13-2) won't make it easy. Of course Dawson has to beat Jean Pascal on Saturday, August 14th.
After three rounds: On paper, this fight had the making of a great matchup. It's lived up to the hype so far. Tavoris Cloud came out on fire, landing several solid body shots and combos. But Johnson, as usual, bided his time and was strategic with his attacks. Johnson really went to work in the second round, giving Cloud a dose of his own medicine. Cloud hasn't fought a fighter of Johnson's ilk. And he's paid for that so far. Cloud won round 1, but Johnson came back to win rounds 2 and 3. Johnson leads 29-28 after three rounds (2-1).
After six rounds: Cloud had his way with Johnson in the fourth round, landing several head shots. Round five also belonged to Cloud, but not because he was dominant. Johnson seemed to take the last two rounds off. He hasn't been able to find the right angles for his punches. Cloud took advantage and really hurt Johnson with about a minute left in the fifth. Johnson settled down a little in the sixth. Cloud started strong in the sixth, but Johnson won the last two minutes. The fight is tied, 57-57, after six rounds (3-3).
After nine round: The action has been great. Both fighters are landing shots, although Cloud's shots are beginning to hurt a little more than Johnson's. Johnson is throwing more punches, but Cloud's have been more effective. Johnson came out strong in round seven, but Cloud answered with a great eighth round. Cloud was curiously not too active in round nine. I gave Johnson round 9. Johnson leads, 86-85, after nine rounds (5-4).
ROUNDS 10 THRU 12: Round 10 was extremely close, but I had Cloud ahead narrowly because he finished the round strong. Cloud really started to pour it on in the 11th and took advantage of his youth. Johnson ended the round okay, but not enough to take the round from Cloud. Johnson started the 12th strong, but Cloud won the final two minutes. I have Cloud winning the fight 115-113 (7-5).
The judges scored the bout 116-112 in favor of Tavoris Cloud.
Cloud keeps his IBF Light heavyweight title and improves to 21-0, 18 KOs. He is now in line for a fight with Chad Dawson. If Dawson beats Jean Pascal on August 14.