Do You Believe in Magic?

By Robert Ecksel on September 4, 2014
Do You Believe in Magic?
“I'm the best defensive fighter in boxing history...and that's why I'm still here.” (Ecksel)

Tarver may be gilding the lily, but if that’s what he needs to propel him toward his goal, so be it and on with the show…

Former light heavyweight champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (30-6, 21 KOs) returns to the ring Sept. 29 against Johnathon Banks (29-2-1, 19 KOs) on Sept. 29 at the State Farm Arena in Hildalgo, Texas. If he beats Banks, who looked lost in his last fight against Seth Mitchell over a year ago, Tarver believes that his dream of becoming heavyweight champion will be that much closer.

“Banks is a good fighter,” said Tarver, “but I’m going into this fight in top shape, weighing 220 pounds, and totally focused. I’ll be sharp, quick, elusive and throwing combination punches. I will prevail and continue my journey.”

The journey has been made possible by the mysterious and influential Al Haymon.

“Al has given me this chance. If I retired tomorrow, I would feel unfulfilled despite so much I’ve done as a fighter. The only reason I get up every morning to train hard is to win the world heavyweight championship. I’m on a dream path again. Outside of falling a little short in Atlanta (where he won a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics), I’ve never had a dream in or out of the ring that I didn’t accomplish. I won the world light heavyweight title, made it to Hollywood (portraying Mason Dixon in Rocky VI), and did commentary for a major network.”

Tarver may be gilding the lily, but if that’s what he needs to propel him toward his goal, so be it and on with the show.

“I will be world heavyweight champion,” he continued, “and I’ll break George Foreman’s record as the oldest. I don’t want to beat just any guy with the world title belt, I want Wladimir Klitschko, and to set up that fight I will challenge and defeat David Haye, if he has the guts to fight me. Even at 45, I have so much fight in me, and there isn’t a heavyweight I can’t beat in a 12-round fight, unless they knock me out, something nobody’s been able to do in my entire career.”

Tarver may have a chance, however remote, of defeating David Haye, assuming he can get the Haye in the ring. But it’s as hard to imagine him defeating Klitschko as it is to even imagine them fighting.

But Tarver has set his sights and won’t easily be dissuaded.

“I’ve never gotten the credit I deserve. I’m going to quiet my critics who never mention me as a Hall of Famer. I’m the best defensive fighter in boxing history. I’ve never been cut or hurt and that’s why I’m still here. Defense is a lost art. This is going to be sweet! I love boxing and I’ve forgotten more about it than kids today will ever know. I have a lot of experience. People have been sleeping on my abilities for a long time. I’m on a mission!”

Tarver may be on a mission, but saying he’s “the best defensive fighter in boxing history” doesn’t exactly bolster his credibility.

“My record speaks for itself. Writing me off is a big mistake. I’m going to do something big before I retire. People are going to see on September 29th the magic that’s been missing for a long time. My last few fights I didn’t scratch the surface of my abilities. back…The Magic Man is back!”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Read More Blogs
Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Pete The Sneak 04:55am, 09/05/2014

    “I’m the best defensive fighter in boxing history.”...  Part of PED’s affect on the brain…Peace.

  2. Clarence George 06:11pm, 09/04/2014

    Delusional to the point of psychosis.  When I think of “the best defensive fighter in boxing history,” the name Willie Pep leaps to mind.  And there others who reside on that particular Mt. Olympus—Nicolino Locche and Pernell Whitaker, just to name two.  Antonio Tarver hasn’t even visited the lower slopes.

  3. bikermike 05:10pm, 09/04/2014

    Antonio Tarver….date of birth…November 21, 1968….FORTY SIX YEARS OLD…..‘nuff said

  4. GlennR 03:13pm, 09/04/2014

    “the best defensive fighter in boxing history”

    He seems to have forgotten his fight with Hopkins

Leave a comment