Tarver Looking Tubby, Steps Back Into the Ring
After a embarassing loss to up-and-comer Chad Dawson last year, Antonio Tarver (27-6) steps back into the ring, set to take of Dominican heavyweight Nagy Aguilera (16-4). At the weigh-in, it was evident the southpaw Tarver had been living large, 46 pounds larger than he was for his fight last year. And Aguilera, with his gut slipping over his shorts line, looked like the mangú monster. In fact, the two posing pugilists could have been mistaken for two diners fighting for a spot in the buffet line.
Tarver, once the guy who knocked out Roy Jones Jr. – a feat not so impressive these days – hasn’t had any signifigant victories since then – unless you count a starring role in Rocky Balboa, a sort of Apollo Creed 2.0.
His most recent fights, two consecutive losses to Chad Dawson by unanimous decision, were nothing to convert non-believers either. Last year some were even saying that it was time for the 42-year old Floridian native to call it quits.
So in a last ditch effort, Tarver moved up to the only class more boring than Calculus, the heavyweight division. Going the way of Michael Spinks and Roy Jones Jr. means stepping up to the fatboys – I mean, big boys. Who to take on but “Dominican Dynamite” Nagy Aguilera. Who? Exactly. A blotchy record for such a young boxer, who I’d be willing to be has either been on ESPN Fight Night or is heading there, to bob and weave with the mediocre.
So why’s this fight happening? Well, money of course. Tarver has a name – he appeared on Rocky Balboa for chrissake – which some will remember and tune in to Showtime to watch. But more importantly, this is Tarver versus a Dominican heavyweight. Just as Johnny Ruiz attracted Puerto Ricans to fights, promoters know this heavyweight will draw Dominicans and Dominican-Americans.
Once again the better fight is the undercard, Shawn Porter (16-0) versus 32 year-old Hector Munoz (18-3-1). Porter, as of yet undefeated, reportedly KO’d Pacquiao last year in the first round of a sparring match. This will be a big step up for Porter, taking on a boxer with much more experience than his previous opponents. If Porter comes out strong enough, a knockout win could definitely overshadow the battle of the blubber.
Photo Courtesy of Tom Casino/Showtime Sports
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