Antonio Tarver not only plans to teach Lateef Kayode lesson in the art of the sweet science he is also planning a massive body assault for good measure when the pair clash in a cruiserweight bout at the Home Depot Center in Carson City on June 2.
At an open workout at a packed out Caltas 24/7 Fitness Center former light-heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver spoke at length about his opponent, how he will win and a number other things: “This guy is predicting he’ll knock me out in the fifth round,” said Tarver. “If Kayode comes in with that type of recklessness, he can be out before that because he has never been hit by someone who can punch as hard as me. And not just punching hard, I’m a sharpshooter. I punch organs. I target organs: liver, kidney, heart. I don’t just punch mass, I punch organs and I punch that chin. Remember that the chin is not a muscle so you can have all the muscles surrounding your neck and body, chest and abs, because if I touch that chin the right way, it’s lights out, baby.
“There are no more guys like myself. Shane Mosley lost. Bernard Hopkins lost. I’m the last Mohican. I’m the last guy who is 40-plus.
Tarver added: “We have a storyline here: A young guy who took offense to what I was saying as a commentator. I was just doing my job. I think the youth, the inexperience got the best of him. He’s got his handlers saying that he’s ready to roll the dice. But you’ve got to respect his position. He’s a young fighter coming up that has nothing to lose. So Kayode is in a beautiful position and if he loses to me, what has it done? It’s going to set him back a little bit but he can regroup. I can’t regroup if I lose to Lateef Kayode. There would be an asterisk and a question mark by my name and we can’t have that.
“He’s only got two hands and he can’t throw them but one at a time. We’re going to simplify it. I’ve fought a lot of strong guys that didn’t get lucky, that couldn’t hit me, couldn’t find me. So he’s coming in here trying to get lucky. I’m coming in here to rely on my skills, my experience and my conditioning to win this fight. I’ll take Kayode places he’s never been. And that’s in deep waters. He’s never been in there with a fighter like me and I’m going to show him what it’s all about.
“This is what sparring is all about. I’ve got young guys in here. I don’t have any old punching bags in here. Because if I can’t get it done in the gym, I can’t get it done June 2.
“We’re putting everyone on notice. Expect the unexpected. Kayode said the fight is going to end, that he’s going to knock me out in the fifth round. He might have a good prediction in the fifth round but I think he’s got the storyline a little twisted.
“We’re in a phone booth in camp. That’s definitely what we think the fight will represent, a phone booth. We like it in close quarters. I’m too old to run.
“I had a chance to commentate a few of his fights and he didn’t like the things I was saying. But as a young fighter, you can’t always feed them cake and ice cream. Sometimes you’ve got to put something in the back of his head so he could say, ‘You know what? Maybe there is something I can go back and work on.
“It’s about skill and I got it. We’re not going to wait for anyone to tell us how great we are because if you wait for someone to give you a compliment, you’ll be waiting forever and a day. We know who we are and we are going to continue to display it. We’re going to kill our critics with success. We got the skill, us throwback fighters. And I’m a throwback fighter because I’m older now, I’m sitting down [on my punches] more and I’m a fan friendly fighter.
“What keeps the fire burning? Critics, naysayers and my own personal achievement. People can laugh now when I tell them I’m going to become heavyweight champion. They don’t want to buy into it but they will because at 210 pounds, I’m elusive. I’m powerful. I’m strong and they can’t hit what they can’t see. I’m not a big, robotic fighter that can’t move. So those are they’re advantages. The only hope they got is to hit me on the chin and knock me out. And that’s never been done before. “
Tarver Rounded off his lengthy statement by vowing to challenge Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight title
“I’m going to get that heavyweight title,” insisted Tarver. “Wladimir Klitschko, here I come. I’m going to get that heavyweight title. That’s coming back to America, baby. Trust it. Stamp it. Write it down.”
May 15, 2012