Former light heavyweight world champion Antonio Tarver returned to action last night and looked good in stopping experienced opponent Mike Sheppard in 4. Tarver, 45, headlined a Golden Boy Promotions card at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Tarver, whose record now stands at 30-6, 21 KOs, went to work straight away hurting Sheppard with southpaw left hands and lead right hooks. Although the "Magic Man" had been out of action for almost a year and half, he seemed to have shaked off any ring rust by the second, making good use of the straight backhand and uppercut.
In the 4th Tarver dropped his man with an explosive left hand and then a follow up barrage of punches dropped the game Sheppard again. Sheppard got to his feet but was soon to be dropped again by another Tarver combination. This was enough to prompt the stoppage from referee Sam Burgos.
Tarver, now campaigning at heavyweight may struggle with the divisions elite but bigger fights may loom. Sheppard falls to 21-16-1, 9 KOs with the loss.
On the undercard Randy “El Matador” Caballero, fighting at bantamweight, looked exceptional stopping Jessy Cruz in 7 of a scheduled 10 improving his perfect record to 20-0 with 12 early.
Former Carl Froch victim Yusef Mack dropped a 10 round decision to Thomas Williams Jr at light heavyweight.
And undefeated heavyweight prospect Luis Ortiz stopped Alex Gonzalez in the 1st.