LOS ANGELES-Wow. What a press conference.
Just like fight cards, sometimes a press conference doesn't look that good on paper and surpasses all expectations.
Mark this one down as a keeper.
Cruiserweight titleholder Antonio Tarver heads the main event against Lateef “Power” Kayode, while Winky Wright has Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillen and two other substantial bouts take place on June 2, at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Showtime will televise.
The press conference was filled with accusations and counters about verbal denunciations, trips to the outer solar system and playing golf. It's not easy to describe.
As most boxing fans know Tarver has served as an analyst for a number of years for Showtime. Also, a number of times the fighter known as “Magic Man” has delivered a number of magical analyses on his next opponent Kayode.
The Nigerian quiet man was listening and he's not staying quiet about it.
“I challenge this man for a reason; he never said one good thing about me,” said Kayode, who fought on several Shobox fight cards with Tarver sitting ringside providing his expertise.
Kayode added that he approached Tarver to find out the reason.
“He said I do my job,” Kayode recounted about their talk. “You don't do your job, you don't do crap.”
The Nigerian's diatribes stunned the boxing media, who know Kayode as a humble fighter who usually has a smile and kind words. Whoops. Not today. And not with Tarver sitting three feet away.
“He says my punches are sloppy. I'm ready for him. He has a name, he doesn't have the heart and he doesn't have power,” Kayode (18-0, 14 KOs) said. “He doesn't have s--t!”
Tarver seemed a little surprised at the anger but simply folded his hands under his chin until it was his turn to chat.
“I saw loopholes in his game,” said Tarver point blank. “He didn't want to take heed so I'm going to have to show him.”
Last summer Tarver traveled to Australia to meet then IBO cruiserweight titleholder Danny Green for the title. Green had earlier stopped Roy Jones Jr. and looked to add the tall southpaw to his list of victims. Not that night on July 20.
“I did what I said I was going to do,” Tarver (29-6, 20 KOs) said about his ninth round stoppage of Green in Sydney, Australia.
Tarver, 43, looked over at Kayode and put a little more mustard in his next sentence. "His dream is going to come crumbling down. When you're in all by yourself and Freddie Roach can only give you water...”
Golf has been the only recreation for Tarver recently and for Wright.
“We've been hanging out too much in the golf course and not in the ring,” Tarver said, looking at his golf buddy Wright.
Wright nodded with a smile but anxiously looks to return to the prize ring. He emphasized that he's not in need of money.
“I got here in a private plane,” said Wright, 40.
The former junior middleweight world champion has not fought in three years but not for want of trying. Two fights fell through at the last moment.
Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) tangles with California resident and Michigan native Quillen whose enthusiasm has no boundaries as he ripped off his shirt to show off his ready for war physique.
“I going to show you I'm ready for Winky Wright,” said Quillen (26-0, 20 KOs). “We're going to take Winky Wright to Pluto. Pluto is where the stars are at.”
Quillen, 28, also introduced his father who he claims is a Cuban hillbilly. That cracked up the crowd.
East L.A.'s undefeated Leo Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KOs) faces Vusi Malinga (20-3-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant IBF bantamweight title that was vacated by Abner Mares, who now holds the WBC junior featherweight belt.
WBA junior middleweight titleholder Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KOs) defends against Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KOs). New Mexico's Trout beat Rigoberto Alvarez for the title in Guadalajara, Mexico and has defended it twice including one more instance in Mexico. He's looking for a defining win to entice some of the heavy hitters in the junior middleweight division.
“I'm hoping to look good and maybe get Rigoberto's brother “Canelo” (Saul Alvarez) or the winner of Mayweather and Cotto,” said Trout.
This press conference had some pop. It looks like the fight card will have even more.
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