Tarver Says Heavyweight Title Is His Destiny

He’s ready to rock, he says, rust be damned.

“I know how to fight! People talk about layoffs and whatever…shooot, I know how to fight,” heavyweight Antonio Tarver told me about his Aug. 14 tangle with Steve Cunningham.

“They put me six feet under, but they forgot to put the dirt on me,” continued the SPIKE analyst, and former light heavy and cruiser champ, who seeks heavyweight gold. “We’re reaching whole new heights August 14th! The Magic Man is gonna show what the game’s been missing! Don’t miss it.”

SPIKE will televise this scrap, on a PBC show, running in New Jersey.

Tarver respects Cunningham, and isn’t looking past him, but he’d welcome a Wladimir Klitschko tussle ASAP. “Cunningham is another man I gotta face, trying to take everything I got, I know what’s in front of me. It’s business, not personal.”

I asked about the stakes–has mention been made of what’s next for the winner? A crack at WBC champ Deontay Wilder?

“I know my destination and my destiny, all of them are on borrowed time! They are not going to hand over Klitschko to me, I know I got to earn it. As for Klitschko vs. Fury, I don’t see much in Fury. He’s got a little size on him but he can’t fight a lick. But…he did beat me there, so he must be doing something right.”

Orland Cuellar will train Tarver, who has fought once a year since 2009, for the violent waltz, and the boxer said he will likely bring in cruiserweight types, volume guys, to approximate Cunningham, in his camp.

He won’t over-tax his body, he said, and will likely spar between 12-18 rounds a week.

“I know how to fight,” he reiterated. “I’m gonna let the whole world know I’m coming for the championship. Let there by no doubt in any minds what I’m capable of after August 14!”

Here is the release which went out to announce the scrap and the show:

ANTONIO TARVER AND STEVE CUNNINGHAM TO MEET IN HEAVYWEIGHT BATTLE ON PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS ON SPIKE AT PRUDENTIAL CENTER IN NEWARK, NEW JERSEYON FRIDAY, AUGUST 14 AT 9 P.M. ET/PT 

Cruiserweight World Champion Marco Huck Takes On

Undefeated Contender Kryzsztof Glowacki

Tickets On Sale Friday!

NEWARK, NJ (July 9, 2015) – Former world champions are set to collide as Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (31-6, 22 KOs) takes on Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs) in a 12-round heavyweight showdown as Premier Boxing Champions on Spike comes to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Friday, August 14.

Televised coverage on Spike begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT with cruiserweight world champion Marco Huck (38-2-1, 26 KOs) squaring off against undefeated Polish standout Krysztof Glowacki (24-0, 15 KOs) in a 12-round cruiserweight title bout. Also featured will be exciting heavyweight contender Artur Szpilka (19-1, 14 KOs) looking for his third straight knockout.

Undercard action begins at 6:00 p.m. ET with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. ET.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this great fight on Spike,” said Tarver. “I take nothing away from Steve Cunningham, who is a proven veteran who is always in good shape. It’s going to be a great fight. This is a challenge I wanted and needed. August 14, I’m going to let people know I still got the ‘Magic.”

“This is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Cunningham. “Tarver is a big name in boxing and I’m looking forward to this shot. I do my talking in the ring. August 14, be prepared for a great fight. The USS Cunningham will be prepared for battle because this is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, are $150, $100, $70 and $45, not including applicable service charges and facility fee and go on sale Friday, July 10 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets may also be purchased at Prudential Center’s box office beginning Monday, July 13 at 11 a.m.

“On August 14th, Spike’s own Antonio Tarver puts everything on the line against the inspirational Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham in a heavyweight matchup that is a must-win for both fighters,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “We are proud that the show will open with international cruiserweight star Marco Huck defending his cruiserweight supremacy for the first time on U.S. soil against undefeated Polish challenger Krzysztof Glowacki.”

“Antonio is a true champion behind the microphone and inside the ring,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports, Spike TV. “It’s only fitting that Spike televise this great event between Tarver and Cunningham. We’re looking forward to an exciting night of boxing.”

“We are excited to welcome Premier Boxing Champions and Spike to Prudential Center this summer as we continue to expand our live sports programming,” said Sean Saadeh, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Programming for Prudential Center. “Live heavyweight action is as exciting as it gets in boxing and we look forward to an enthusiastic audience in Newark and around the world.”

The 46-year-old Tarver, a former world champion at light heavyweight, who has worked as a ringside analyst on all four PBC on Spike cards, looks to make his mark on the heavyweight division. A bronze medalist for the U.S. at the 1996 Olympics, Tarver turned pro in 1997 and won his first 16 professional fights. In 2003 he won his first world title by defeating Montell Griffin and in 2004 he became the first man to knockout Roy Jones Jr. The Tampa, Florida-native has won four straight fights heading into this matchup and most recently defeated Johnathon Banks by seventh round knockout.

Representing the great fight city of Philadelphia, Cunningham will look to put on a show just a short drive up the interstate from his hometown. A former world champion at cruiserweight, he defeated Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2006 to capture his belt before defending his title against Marco Huck via a twelfth-round TKO. He became a world champion again in 2010 when he stopped Troy Ross in the fifth round. Most recently the 38-year-old defeated previously unbeaten fighters Amir Mansour and Natu Visinia.

A pro since 2004, the 30-year-old Huck will make his U.S. debut on Aug. 14 when he defends his cruiserweight title in Newark. His first crack at a world title was a successful one as he defeated Victor Ramirez in Aug. 2009. He went on to defend his title eight times before moving up in weight to the heavyweight division. He returned to cruiserweight in 2012 and captured another world title by defeating Firat Arslan. Serbian-born, but fighting out of Berlin, he will make the fourth defense of his title on Aug. 14.

A pro since 2008, the Walcz, Poland-born Glowacki makes his first start outside of his native country when he comes to Newark on Aug. 14. The 28-year-old has walked through contenders Matty Askin, Varol Vekiloglu and Thierry Karl on his way to a shot at a world title. Most recently he won a unanimous decision over the experienced Nuri Seferi in Jan. 2015.

The 26-year-old Szpilka will look to build on his most recent PBC on Spike success, as he delivered Friday night knockouts in April and June over Ty Cobb and Manuel Quezada, respectively. The Polish heavyweight’s biggest victory came in November 2014 when he defeated longtime contender Tomasz Adamek by unanimous decision. He returns to fight in New Jersey for the second time in his career in August.

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COMMENTS

-ZonaDeBoxeo.com :

La cortina de humo de “Canelo” Alvarez -En ocasiones duele que los acontecimientos respalden un criterio personal emitido públicamente. Algo similar me sucede con la decisión de Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez de renunciar a la corona mediana del [url=http://www.wbcboxing.com/wbcesp/]Consejo Mundial (CMB) y dejar en un limbo impreciso el combate contra el kazajo Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Podría argumentar con cierta satisfacción que he escrito varias veces que esa pelea no se concretará, al menos este año, y que el pelirrojo mexicano y sus asesores utilizarían subterfugios y excusas poco convincentes para eludir el enfrentamiento. Al leer la nota de “Canelo” explicando las causas que lo conducen a renunciar al título, siento, como amante del boxeo, que una vez más nos han tomado el pelo, aunque hubiera preferido tener que confesar que me había equivocado al exponer mis comentarios escépticos. Es la pelea que todos quieren. Es la pelea que ambos púgiles desean. O al menos es lo que han asegurado. Pero, del dicho al hecho ... un gran trecho. “Después de mucho pensarlo, le pedí a mi equipo en Golden Boy Promotions que continuara negociando la pelea con Gennady “GGG” Golovkin y llegaran a un acuerdo lo más rápido posible”, señala el comunicado con la firma del púgil azteca. “También informamos al CMB (Consejo Mundial), que voy a dejar vacante su campeonato”, añadió el astro mexicano, que con la decisión le quita un peso de encima a su compatriota Maurició Sulaimán, presidente del CMB, quien estaba entre la espada y la pared si “Canelo” se negaba a pelear contra el invicto kazajo, porque de acuerdo con los estatutos de la organización se vería obligado a despojarlo de la faja de las 160 libras. Los representantes de “Canelo” y Golovkin recibieron autorización del CMB para negociar hasta el 24 de mayo. Si no llegaban a acuerdos precisos, convocaría a una subasta pública para definir la promotora del combate. Y esa decisión de la entidad fue precisamente el punto que le sirvió de justificación al peleador mexicano para ceder el título, que conquistó al vencer unánime al puertorriqueño Miguel “Junito” Cotto, el 21 de noviembre del pasado año, en el hotel y casino Mandalay Bay, de Las Vegas. “Espero que haciendo a un lado este marcar del reloj, los dos equipos puedan negociar esta pelea”, insistió Alvarez. “Y que ´[url=https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gennadi_Golovkin]GGG´y yo podamos entrar al ring lo más pronto posible para darle a los fans la pelea que quieren”.? No le creo ni una palabra a “Canelo”. Porque sin corona ni la presión del CMB para definir el monarca absoluto, ahora puede tomar el camino que más le convenga, que no es precisamente chocar contra “El Asesino con Cara de Niño”, que suma 22 nocauts consecutivos. Pero este “marcar del reloj” no es nuevo, sino consecuencia de un acuerdo con el CMB, que concedió tanto a Golovkin como a “Canelo” un combate previo, antes que iniciaran negociaciones directas para definir el monarca absoluto de la organización, ya que el azteca era el dueño del título “regular” y el europeo del “interino”. Con la autorización del CMB, “GGG” aplicó el cloroformo en el segundo asalto al desconocido norteño Dominic Wade, el 23 de abril último, en El Forum, de Inglewood, California, en tanto “Canelo” hizo lo mismo en el sexto episodio ante Khan, el 7 de mayo, en la T-Mobile Arena, de Las Vegas. Sorprende también que “Canelo” asegura en su información que “durante toda mi carrera, he tomado muchas peleas que nadie quería, porque no le tengo miedo a nadie”. Es una verdad a medias, porque precisamente esa es una de las grandes críticas que ha recibido: enfrentar a rivales de poca monta. No obstante, Alvarez seguramente se refiere a que rivalizó contra el estadounidense Floyd “MoneyMan” Mayweather, quien le dio una lección de boxeo e infligió el único revés de su carrera, y también al zurdo cubano Erislandy Lara, al que se impuso por fallo mayoritario, que una buena parte de expertos consideró injusto por lo acontecido sobre el cuadrilátero. El fulminante nocaut que propinó “Canelo” al inglés Amir “King” Khan no debe siquiera pasar por su mente como ”las peleas que nadie quería”, pues anestesió a un oponente que debió escalar dos divisiones y el desenlace estaba concebido literalmente como la “crónica de una muerte anunciada”, debido a su mayor peso y volumen corporal al momento de la reyerta. Tras anunciarse la renuncia y sin las exigencias de ese compromiso con Golovkin, ahora “Canelo queda libre para tomar el camino que más le convenga, incluyendo chocar con otros adversarios, que sin dudas no tendrán el abolengo boxístico del kazajo ni su calidad, ni resultados. Curiosamente, y en consonancia con la cortina de humo del mexicano, el sitio ESPNDigital afirmó que Alvarez acogerá la opción de enfrentar al inglés Liam Smith (22-0-1, 12 KOs), campeón súper welter de la Organización Mundial (OMB), aunque el británico tiene previsto exponer la corona ante Predrag Radosevic, octavo clasificado de esa organización, el 4 de junio en Liverpool, Inglaterra. ESPNDigital asegura que el promotor inglés Frank Warren (de Smith) y Oscar De La Hoya (de Canelo) han dialogado sobre la posibilidad de efectuar el pleito en septiembre, lo que significa una gran oportunidad económica para el europeo, al combatir ante “Canelo” en territorio estadounidense. Una justificación de "Canelo" imposible de digerir. Un nuevo chasco para los seguidores del boxeo. Adiós este año al "Canelo"-Golovkin........