Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode battle to a draw
In the main event of a televised quadruple header on Showtime premium cable network, Nigerian born Lateef Kayode (18-0-1, 14 KOs) failed to fulfill his pre-fight premonition in stopping part time fighter/color commentator Antonio "Magic Man" Tarver (29-6-1, 20 KOs) within the distance.
The two Cruiserweights battled each other to an inconclusive draw on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, and did very little to support their preliminary banter.
Leading into the twelve round contest, it had almost been a full calendar year since Antonio Tarver lifted the IBO Cruiserweight title from Australian puncher Danny Green. The 43 year old Floridian became the first pugilist to knock-out the "Green Machine" when they battled on July 20th, 2011.
The multi-vocational southpaw promised to not only teach the young African prospect some humility, but a lesson in ring generalship as well.
Boxing Betting Lines: If you're looking to gamble on boxing this week, BookMaker is the only online sportsbook that can meet your wagering needs. BookMaker is where the line originates so cash in on the best live boxing odds! The fight between Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode will take place Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10 p.m. ET. The bout will be broadcast live on Showtime.
Boxing Betting Online: Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode will headline an episode of "Showtime Championship Boxing" on Saturday, May 26. On the line is Tarver's IBO cruiserweight belt.
There is no confirmed venue for the bout as of this writeup. However, industry scuttlebutt suggests that a Florida destination is in the works. Tarver is a native of the Sunshine State.
The "Magic Man" Tarver (29-6, 20 KOs) is trying to work some magic at the ripe age of 43. He is a former light heavyweight champion but recently moved down to the cruiserweight class.
Tarver upset Australia's Danny Green last July in Sydney via a 9th-round TKO. The 6-foot-2 Floridian completely dominated the fight even though he was the underdog.
Tarver, who boxes out of a Southpaw stance, is eager to return to the heavyweight division, but isn't exactly ready to rush back to the big boy scene.
"People will see what I'm doing at 43 and realize that age is nothing but a number," he said. "I feel like I can knock out every cruiserweight because I'm too big and strong with my speed and power in this division."
This match carries some added drama. Tarver has been working as a Showtime commentator during the last few years. He has called Kayode fights in the past and isn't always complimentary of the Nigerian nightmare.
Tarver was particularly critical of Kayode's victory over Nick Ianuzzi last February. Kayode took offense and got on YouTube and challenged Tarver to a fight.
Kayode has earned the nickname "Power" for good reason. He has 18 wins on his professional resume and 14 of those have come by knockout.
Kayode is trained by the renowned Freddie Roach, who also works with Georges St. Pierre and Manny Pacquiao.
"He's a power puncher and very aggressive, and I'm sure Freddie will have him at his best and formulate a plan to beat me," said Tarver. "My job is to make sure it doesn't work."
The 29-year-old Kayode stands at 6-foot-2 and has a 77-inch reach. His boxing experience pales in comparison to Tarver's since he's only been fighting at the pro level since 2008.
Many punching pundits contend that as Kayode's opponents have become increasingly more difficult, flaws in his repertoire have become more visible. One analyst called him an "awkward, unnatural boxer" that just relies on strength and power.
Both Tarver and Kayode are promoted by Gary Shaw, who has a keen connection with Showtime and offers his insight on this fight.
"Kayode will have to be at his best to beat Tarver," Shaw told ESPN.com. "He is a big puncher, but has not looked sharp in his last few outings. He (Tarver) could very well give Kayode a boxing lesson."
Neither fighter wants to lose this cruiserweight showdown so it should be an exciting one. BookMaker will have moneyline prices for the full Showtime card on Saturday, May 26, including the Antonio Tarver and Lateef Kayode bout. You can bet on boxing odds to predict the outright winner and also wager round-by-round with BookMaker's live gambling feature.
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