Tavoris Cloud: “It Was Always A Hard Bargain With Don King”

Tavoris Cloud Regrets Doing Business With Don King!

Don King celebrates a victory with Tavoris Cloud
Don King celebrates a victory with Tavoris Cloud

Tavoris Cloud Regrets Having Signed With Don King

Of all the promoters to ever try their hand in the boxing industry, Don King will certainly remain one of the most infamous. At 88 years of age, King is now but a mere shadow of his former self. At one point in time, the bright-smiling, bombastic native of Cleveland, Ohio enjoyed a death grip on the heavyweight division.

However, King achieved that envious position by way of his underhanded mob affiliations, notoriously crooked contracts and a persuasive silver tongue that any lawyer or car salesman would kill for. In fact, even though Don King is largely no longer a factor in the overall boxing scene, his name still conjures up a great deal of emotion.


Despite maintaining such a generally sour reputation, there are a number of people who still pay homage and respect to the ambitious fight hustler. One such individual is former light heavyweight champion Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (24-3, 19 KO’s), who signed with King back in 2010. Even then, the choice to sign with Don King was somewhat odd. He shared his thoughts with Curran Bhatia of Ask The Experts.

This was because by that time of signing, King was already 78. Following suit with his advanced years, his activity level as a promoter had slowed to an injured snail’s pace. Unsurprisingly, rather than complaints of corruption, Cloud remembers the restrictions of King’s age being the biggest detractor to their professional relationship.

“If I had to go back, I definitely would not have signed with Don King, but I have a lot of respect for Don King. I don’t want to say anything bad about him, but Don King, he is an older promoter. I think he’s almost in his 90’s now, if not 90’s, and just him being able to promote the fights, he was slowing down.

And it didn’t happen and it was a lot of bad blood, bad business deals from the past that I had nothing to do with, all over everywhere in the sport of boxing. So that kind of slowed me down. What I didn’t think about is that his enemies would become my enemies and I know that now…but I take it as a lesson, not a loss.”


While Cloud does not have any serious memories revolving around shady dealings, he does vividly recollect how stern King was at the negotiation table. Through his candid and firsthand dealings with Don King, Cloud understood that whatever was the original agreement, it would take hell and high water to make any alterations.

“I mean Don King, he was always a hard bargain. You have to negotiate with him to get your money. I always got what I was supposed to get as far as what I negotiated on the contract, but you would have problems if you tried to move past that initial amount that you agreed upon.

“As you get more title defenses, as you win more fights, of course you want money. But they kind of wanted me to stay at what I agreed upon initially.”

When it’s all said and done though, if all Cloud has to gripe about was getting what he negotiated, then it appears that he got away very lucky!

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari S. 2549 Articles
Bakari is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.