By Luis Sandoval
Antonio Tarver will be defending his IBO Cruiserweight title against the young and undefeated Lateef Kayode on June 2nd at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA live on Showtime. Things got interesting at their Los Angeles press conference where both fighters took turns at the podium doing their best trash talking to one another.
Kayode has taken offense to Tarver’s often critical commentary during his fights and has vowed to hurt and knockout Antonio Tarver when they meet in the ring. Tarver of course isn’t buying it and not only does he think Kayode will play into his game plan, but he believe he could very well be the one administering the knockout.
“Lateef Kayode is going to miss all night long and he’s going to be in a position for all my counter shots. Like I said, I’ve destroyed a lot of fighters in one night. If he brings that type of attitude to the table, I know what I have to do. If I knock him out he may never be the same” said a confident Tarver.
“If he loses to me it’s not the end of the world but he may never be the same type of fighter. You can see his career evaporate right before our eyes. I’ve destroyed fighters in one night”.
The one thing Kayode is known for is his power. In fact, his nickname is “Power” but in his last three fights his power hasn’t exactly shown up as he’s gone the distance.
BoxingScene.com asked Tarver if he was at all concerned about Kayode’s punching power.
“I never been worried about a fighters power because power is nothing if you can’t land that punch. It’s just power. Power is [nothing] until you hit matter or until you hit something on the chin and you knock them out. As long as I have eyes I’m going to trust my instincts and trust my defense” explained the 43 year old.
When you think of Tarver, you don’t necessarily think of a defensive wizard such as Pernell Whitaker or a Floyd Mayweather Jr. But Tarver points out his defensive skill set often goes unnoticed as he explained how his defense has helped him throughout his 16 year career and how it will be a factor on June 2nd.
“I’m one of the most underrated defensive fighters in the history of the game. I stand on that. Never been hurt, never been outclassed. Never been knocked out in a fight. I’m 16 years at this thing professionally and never been cut. So I knock on wood but I’m doing something right” boasted the former 1996 US Olympian.
Antonio Tarver will have a chance to put his defense on display and try to knockout Lateef Kayode when they meet in the ring on June 2nd.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewest007. You can also tune in to Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.