By "Bigtime" Tim Kudgis
Former world champion Steve "USS" Cunningham stopped by the "The Cornermen" Radio Show to discuss the recent controversy regarding Antonio Tarver failing a pre-fight drug test in connection to their heavyweight bout, which took place on August 14th in New Jersey. The bout ended in a twelve round split draw.
Tarver reportedly tested positive [A sample and B sample] for synthetic testosterone. It marks the second time in Tarver's career to test positive for a banned substance. He failed a drug test for his 2012 cruiserweight bout with Lateef Kayode, which coincidently also ended in a draw. The result was later changed to a no-decision. Tarver was fined and suspended as a result.
Here are some of the highlights from Cunningham's interview:
On if whether or not he intends to stick to his pre-fight comments regarding a potential lawsuit if Tarver failed a drug test:
At the workout for the Tarver fight, I mentioned I would bring up a civil suit. I was being extreme with attempted manslaughter but overall assault and battery. In actuality I talked to my lawyer when we first heard the news about possibilities of that. It's not for just getting the money from anybody.
If we were to go forward and win we would donate the money to a Heart Foundation for what my daughter has been through. It would be to set a standard or a bar. This is what should happen every time a fighter does this to help keep the sport clean. PEDs, steroids and illegal things are rampant in boxing. I can't say names or I would get sued because there is no evidence. Boxers talk in locker rooms, in camp and you see things. There is a lot of illegal use going on in boxing period.
On Tarver's recent statements, claiming his drug tests were contaminated:
I have a lot to say about the situation so I'm going to be talking tonight. First the brother already got caught once. He got caught three years ago and was suspended for a year and fined. Then he gets caught again. Let's hypothetically say what he is saying is true and the samples were contaminated. Wow! Then you would be the most unlucky dude of all time. There were two samples. So both samples were contaminated. Both came back with the same thing. Yeah they were contaminated with the stuff that he took. That is what it was contaminated with. What else is Tarver going to say?
My wife who is my manager Livvy, she is so intelligent. When we were at his press conference she looked at his press release when he got popped in the Kayode fight. It was almost a verbatim word for word of what he said 'Oh I never took anything.' It's the same thing. Tarver, he is a talker. He got his fight with Roy Jones cause he talked. Then he talks his way into a rematch. He talked his butt off in our fight. That's what he is, he is a talker. He is a good marketer, he markets himself superbly.
If he would like to replace Tarver as part of the broadcast team for PBC on Spike TV - if Tarver is terminated due to the controversy:
Steve Cunningham is available if it was. I don't know what's going on. I haven't talked to the [New Jersey State Athletic] Commission. The Commission hasn't released their release on what's going on yet. We are just waiting.
On whether or not he believes the failed tests place a question mark over Tarver's wins:
What was Tarver known for his whole career? His left hand. With this guy popped two times in the years. These past five years have been real strict on illegal drugs. Now you have to question all of his wins by knockout. All of his big wins. He fought a guy named Chris Johnson back around 2001. He hurt Chris Johnson pretty bad. The only thing that made Tarver special was his powerful blessed hands. Maybe he was on the stuff back then but no one caught him. Now it is catching up to him. Like you said, he knew he had some extra oomph that should have put me down or out.
On whether or not Tarver deserves to enter the Hall of Fame in the future:
People are calling him a future Hall of Famer. We need to check that too. His morality in boxing is ridiculous. He has no respect for the other fighters or the sport that we love. He should not be in the Hall of Fame. He is suspect now. Very suspect.
To hear more from Steve Cunningham about his thoughts on Tarver and much more listen to "The Cornermen" by clicking the link below: