Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Tarver: I Haven’t Taken Kayode Lightly By Any Stretch

By Jake Donovan

At 43 years of age, Antonio Tarver can’t afford to leave anything to chance in his latest comeback.

The former light heavyweight king has always been outspoken in regards to his own career, whether during his prime or in his present state in the twilight. No matter the opponent, the pre-fight hype almost always seems to include a war of words at some point when it comes to Tarver (29-6, 20KO).

It hasn’t been any different in preparation for his June 2 cruiserweight showdown with unbeaten contender Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14KO). The bout – which airs live on Showtime from the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA - will be his third since returning to the ring in 2010 after sitting out for nearly 18 months following back to back losses to Chad Dawson.

Tarver’s first fight back came in Oct. ’10 at heavyweight, showing up at a fleshy 221 lb. in scoring a decision win over Nagy Aguilera. Last year’s showing against Danny Green was far more impressive both in the ring and on his frame. Tarver weighed 197 ¾ lb in taking apart the Australian star en route to a ninth round knockout.

The bout with Kayode also takes place at cruiserweight, though Tarver sees himself eventually returning to the heavyweight division. It was the goal he set in mind when planning his comeback and views Kayode as the next stop in that journey.

However, none of that is to assume he’s looking beyond June 2. While confident in his ability to run the tables and capture heavyweight hardware, Tarver knows as well as anyone that all it takes is one hiccup to throw everything off course.

“There is really no confidence to this fight until it’s over,” Tarver admits. “I haven’t taken Lateef Kayode lightly by any stretch. I know as a fighter that one punch can change a fight and one punch can end a fight.

“What I did in training camp was working on eliminating any chance of his getting lucky. He went on record saying he’s gonna knock me out and holding strong to that assumption. That’s going to make me strong and alert. When the bell goes ding, I’m going to dial in on this guy and go tunnel vision.”

There are two working theories surrounding this fight. One is that Tarver will outbox Kayode, who was raised in Nigeria but relocated to Hollywood five years ago, where he trains out of Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. The other is that Kayode’s best and perhaps only chance is to end it on one punch.

Tarver is way ahead of the curve in terms of training for either outcome.

“I’ve never really been hurt in a fight, I can take a punch,” Tarver acknowledges, having never been stopped though 16 years as a pro. “If it comes down to us going toe-to-toe, I’m ready for it. I don’t have to run. I have confidence in my ability. My punches are target-oriented. I’m trying to hit the kidney and I’m trying to hit the chin. I’m going to work for the knockout, I’m not going to look for the home run.

“When it comes down to it, we’re going to show him he’s not the only one with muscles in this fight. I’m not coming in with any predetermined outcomes.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by SlimTim on 05-31-2012

I don't think Lateef can end it on one punch by any stretch. He's feasted on mostly E and D level opposition so far in his career and that's where the knockouts came from. I'm not saying this guy doesn't…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Austin Trout: Jacobs Beat Golovkin, He's The Best at 160! Kovalev: Loss to Ward in Our Rematch Didn't Break Me Mentally Saunders: I'll Beat Lemieux Convincingly, No Robbery Worries Frank Warren Says Door is Wide Open For Scott Quigg To Join Parker: I'm a Big Risk - Joshua Needs Over 65%, Rematch Clause Parker Promoter: More People Contacted Us About Joshua's Chin Joshua's Promoter: I Can't See a Wilder Deal, Parker More Likely Video: Golden Boy's Diaz Talks Cotto vs. Ali, Arum's Beef, More Alexander Dimitrenko Back on December 22, Adrian Granat Too Sergey Kovalev - From a Single Point to a Question Mark Wilder To Hearn: Add Joshua To Whyte Deal - I'll Whip Their Asses! Video: Kathy Duva Breaks Down HBO Triple, Kovalev's Return Video: Jason Sosa Discusses Yuriorkis Gamboa Showdown Sullivan Barrera to face Sergey Kovalev or Dmitry Bivol in 2018? Farmer Confident of Title Win: None of These Dudes Can Beat Me! Austin Trout: I Would Love To Fight Julian Williams Shabranskyy Sparred With Bivol, Benavidez for Kovalev Fight Video: Yuriorkis Gamboa Discusses Career, Jason Sosa Clash Video: Sergey Kovalev Talks Ward, Shabranskyy, Car Accident David Haye Vows To Recover, To Come Back Strong in 2018 Golovkin Blown Away By Treatment in The Motherland - Mexico Photos: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jason Sosa - Go Face To Face Photos: Sullivan Barrera, Felix Valera - Square Up in New York City Photos: Kovalev, Shabranskyy - Face To Face at Final Presser Peltz: Sosa-Gamboa Will Be HBO's Fight of the Night Saturday Eubank Sr. Takes a Deep Dig at Groves' Trainer Shane McGuigan Parker Promoter To Hearn: Worry About Joshua's Chin, Not Presser! James Toney To Joshua: Put on Big-Boy Pants, Come Fight in U.S. News: Cornflake LaManna, Blair Cobbs, Liliana Palmera, More Hearn Thinks Parker Promoter is Bonkers After Presser on Joshua Oscar Valdez To Target Carl Frampton Showdown in 2018 Gary Russell Jr: Will Golden Boy Promotions Let Diaz Fight Me? Duva: 'Irrelevant' Stevenson Has No Interest in Fighting Kovalev Eubank Sr: I Don't See How George Groves Will Go The Distance Wanheng Menayothin Goes for 49-0 in Upcoming Defense Pedro Guevara on Shiro Loss: In Mexico I Could've Gotten Decision McCullough, McCarthy, Ward and Crocker Eager For More Nathaniel Gallimore Stays Busy With Knockout Victory Parker: I'll Make Tyson Fury Rich By Knocking Anthony Joshua Out! Agron Smakici: I Want To Fight With Alexander Dimitrenko
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement