The CBZ Newswire

Thoughts on Tarver Fight

by on Oct.16, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

by Tom Donelson

October 16, 2010 — Many boxers have not been able to simply say no and Antonio Tarver quest for Heavyweight glory is just another example of a fighter who can’t say no.  Tarver was one of the better light heavyweights over the past decade but at 42, he left the safety of the Showtime booth to participate in SHOBOX main event, his virgin ride into the heavyweight division against Nagy Aguilera.
Tarver picked the right opponent in Nagy Aguilera, who despite an advantage of 18 years and being the naturally bigger man, retreated throughout the bout.  Even when Tarver injured his shoulder, Aguilera showed a reluctance to engage. 
This could have been due to a nasty sharp left hand that Aguilera received in the second round that convinced him that maybe the old light heavyweight had some pop in his punch. Or it could be that he froze under the spotlight.  Either way, he allowed Tarver to do what he wanted.
And what he wanted was to unleash his left to Aguilera’s body and unleash his left to Aguilera’s head.  Tarver has always been a one two puncher, jab followed by the left from his southpaw stance and he did this consistently throughout the bout. 
In the third round, Aguilera retreated to the rope only to be treated to a diet of upper cuts and straight left.  In the fourth round, SHOWBOX Steve Farhood observed the lack of effective jabbing from Tarver but Aguilera showed a willingness to hold as oppose to fight and attack
There were times that Aguilera would attack but those moments were brief and Aguilera would simply retreat back to the ropes and fall victim to Tarver body and head shots.  In the 5th round, Tarver appeared to hurt his shoulder and nodded to Farhood during rounds that he was hurt when asked by the veteran reporter.
Throughout the second half of the fight, Tarver hands were low; inviting Aguilera to do something but Aguilera waited until the tenth and final round before he actually attacked for an entire round and took the final round as his consolation prize.
Tarver suffered a shoulder injury and who knows how serious it is but there was nothing in this fight that showed Tarver can handle the better heavyweights, but as Steve Farhood observed, one should not judge based on one fight. We will see if Tarver can take his game to his old elite levels or even close to it. 
In the first fight, Shawn ‘Showtime’ Porter fought the ever tough Hector Munoz. Munoz game is attack and Porter does have the boxing skills and speed to play matador, which he did throughout the bout. In the opening, round, Porter attacked and then retreated to prepare for effective counters.
His accurate punches scored and he nailed Munoz with body shots and quick left hooks to the head.  There were occasion in the first half of the fight in which Porter got careless that Munoz exploded with his combination. 
The fight changed when accidental head butt opened a nasty gash that bleed all over Munoz’s face in the fifth rond.  Munoz stayed in the fight but Porter took advantage of the cuts as he consistently beat Munoz to the punch.  Two Porter’s solid left hooks in the fifth round concluded a nasty combination against Munoz was an example.
Munoz was game but outclassed and with blood pouring down his face, it was a matter of time before the fight was stopped or went to the scorecard. In the ninth round, Munoz’s corner stopped the fight as their charge no longer could win the fight and the gashes were getting deeper. 
Porter started his career a couple of weight divisions higher and had himself a needed tough test.  Porter passed and showed that he could go toe to toe with a rugged opponent as he moved up the prospect ladder.

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