Tavoris Cloud vs. Gabriel Campillo Preview & Prediction

Credit: David Martin / Don King Productions

Waiting around after a cancelled New Year’s Eve matchup with Zsolt Erdei has made the explosive Tavoris Cloud antsy, which could spell doom for unranked challenger Gabriel Campillo.  Although the four months of training could conceivably lead to ring rust in some, it’s hard to imagine that the highly regarded, yet quizzically underrated, reigning IBF Light Heavyweight champion will enter the February 18th contest at a disadvantage.

Still, Cloud would be wise to pay mind to the surprising southpaw Campillo who has only been knocked-out once in his ten-year career.  The former WBA World and IBA light heavyweight champion is looking to get his hands back on some gold following a two-year stint without a title and a disappointing draw with Karo Murat for the IBF Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight title in October 2011.

The Pugs and The Prize

Gabriel “Chico Guapo” Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs),

  • Height: 6’2”, reach N/A
  • Nationality: Spain
  • Age: 33
  • Fighting out of: Madrid, Spain
  • Stance: Southpaw
Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (23-0-0, 19 KOs)

A twelve-round bout with Cloud’s IBF light heavyweight title, which he won by defeating Clinton Woods in August of 2009, on the line.  This will be Cloud’s fourth defense of that title.

  • When: February 18, 2012
  • Where: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Card: Paul Williams (40-2-0, 27 KOs) vs. Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs); Chris Arreola (34-2-0, 29 KOs) vs. Eric Molina (18-1-0, 14 KOs); Malik Scott (32-0-0, 11 KOs) vs. Kendrick Releford (22-15-2, 10 KOs)

Campillo vs. Cloud Preview

Credit: David Martin / Don King Productions

It’s somewhat peculiar that a man arguably worthy of the top spot on Proboxing-fans.com’s Light Heavyweight rankings would go from potentially defending his IBF title against the undefeated Erdei to, now, taking on a somewhat mismatched Campillo.  It will be imperative for Cloud to remain focused on taking care of business with Campillo, however.  After such a long layoff and with bigger fights no doubt swirling through his head, Cloud could fall into the trap of overlooking Campillo and make for a longer, if not altogether shocking, night.  Three of Cloud’s last four fights have gone to the cards, which may make the knockout-hungry brawler from Tallahassee all the more motivated to attack early and often.

The Analysis

Cloud will be facing only his second southpaw in nearly six years.  Concerning to some, it is worth noting that in that last bout, Cloud defeated Mitch Hicks, fighting at 180 pounds, via a first-round TKO.  Although past success should have no bearing over what Cloud does this time around, it’s worth noting that he has been able to adapt to a lefty in the past.  If Cloud uses his crushing hooks and instinctive body positioning to lure Campillo into a sweet spot, he could make quick work of the lanky Spaniard.

In contrast to Cloud, Campillo is a more passive fighter with effective defense and opportunistic offense.  His footwork is sporadic, although he’s one of the quicker dodgers in the division.  Campillo will crouch down his 6’2” frame and evade an offensive attack quite well.  His punches are often sweeping and thrown over-the-tops of his shoulders, which may prove effective on the shorter Cloud.

Campillo vs. Cloud Prediction

Although any southpaw comes with the potential to provide match-up problems, Cloud should make quick work of Campillo.  The champ is too quick, powerful and cunning for this bout to go the full twelve rounds.  Credit Campillo with crossing the pond to take the fight (only his second in the U.S.), especially after his last trip to the States ended with a controversial WBA World Light Heavyweight title loss to Beibut Shumenov.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this trip will end any better for “Chico Guapo.”

Prediction: Tavoris Cloud retains the IBF Light Heavyweight title by KO in the fourth round

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