A hotbed for boxing talent, the city of Angels will host an exciting quadruple header at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on June 2nd. Showtime will televise. In the main event of the evening undefeated Nigerian cruiserweight, Lateef Kayode will face veteran champion, Antonio Tarver in a twelve rounds contest for the IBO cruiserweight title which Tarver won in Australia last July when he knocked out Danny Green.
Undefeated power punching Kayode, a protégé of legendary trainer , Freddie Roach, has been a constant fixture on Showtime’s Show box The New Generation, the same show that semi retired Antonio Tarver has been working on as boxing analyst. Lateef Kayode took offence toTarver’s less than complimentary reviews on TV and challenged him to get inside the ring. Fans get to see an intriguing matchup between forty three year old veteran and twenty eight year old contender.
“I’ve been challenged before, said Tarver from the podium during LA press conference to announce the fight:” I’ve had fighters tell me they are going to knock me out. Danny Green said he was going to knock me out. He has never been knocked out before. I took nine people to Australia and I wasn’t coming back empty handed. That flight was the whole day and a half. It was a long flight to come back empty handed. So we went over there with nine people in front of thirteen thousand people and I did what I said I was going to do. I stopped him inside the distance because that was the only way I was going to get guaranteed victory and I stand before you here today and I am telling Lateef Kayode and everybody he got coming to support him on June second that his dream is going to come crumbling down, because there is a difference from being on the outside looking in. It might look easy from the outside, but when you are in there all by yourself and Freddie Roach can do nothing but give you some water, it’s a whole new ball game. Welcome to big time!”
Antonio Tarver (29-6,20KO’S) is quite familiar with Big time; he was the first man to knock out legendary Roy Jones Jr. in 2004, but that was a longtime ago. Can 43 year old Tarver deal with youth, aggression and power of Kayode inside the squared circle?
“I am sure everybody would tell him how great he was, with a knock out how powerful he was” continued Tarver:” I saw loopholes in his game and it was my job to point that out and may be he’d listen to the commentator and go home and work on some of the things he is not doing so well to become a better fighter, but he didn’t want to take head to that so now I got to show him.”
Kayode was visibly upset during LA press conference because Tarver never gave him any credit.
“When I commentated Lateef’s fights,” explained Tarver:” Trust me a lot of times as young fighter you see a lot of potential in a young fighter and the worst thing you can do is to tell him how great he is. When you are trying to constructively criticize somebody, you think they’ll go back and take head to what you are saying and may be work harder on things they don’t do so well. None of us are complete fighters, that’s why we go to camp every time trying to get better.”
So, did veteran champion decided to get back in the ring at the age of forty three and risk his life simply to teach young buck a lesson?
“I feel that I still have so much to offer to the game of boxing, ‘Tarver said:” I still have plateaus that I have to overcome and goals that I’ve set personally for myself. And when you look at Lateef and everything he brings to the table, I have to take this fight deadly serious. As you can see I am coming down already in great shape. I am not in type of condition I want to be in, but I’ll be ready June second. So, we are going to leave LA and go back to the training camp and start some very serious training for this challenge that I have before me.”
They say boxing is a young men’s game. Can Antonio Tarver prove the old adage wrong?
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