Tonight (6/10) you will want to tune into HBO PPV at 10pm (ET) to see the Bernard Hopkins vs. Antonio Tarver Light Heavyweight title fight (IBO & NBA Light Heavyweight Title). A little info on both these guys–
Antonio Deon Tarver
- Record–24-3-0 (18 KO)
- Nickname–Magic Man
- Hometown–Tampa, FL
- DOB–11-21-68 (37)
- Trainer–Buddy McGirt
- Big Time Wins–Montell Griffin (03), Roy Jones Jr. (05) & Glen Johnson (05)
- Record–46-4-1 (32 KO)
- Nickname–The Executioner
- Hometown–Philadelphia, PA
- DOB–01-15-65 (41)
- Trainer–Noazim Richardson
- Big Time Wins–Glen Johnson (97), Felix Trinidad (01), De La Hoya (04)
The big angles regarding this fight–
- Hopkins was the Middleweight Champion and considered to be the best Pound for Pound (PFP) fighter from about 1997-2005 (or at least tied with Roy Jones Jr.). He is not the most exciting fighter to watch but he is one of the most highly skilled boxers of all time and probably one of the top 3 Middleweight Champions ever (This also being the best weight class). To the surprise of casual fans he destroyed great fighters in Trinidad and De La Hoya in their primes and successfully defended his titles (Unified all 4 titles by the way) over 20 times which essentially cemented his legacy forever. However, he hit the wall in 2005 by losing to Jermain Taylor (Current Middleweight holder and a PFP contender) twice and this will be his last fight.
- This will be Hopkins last fight as he is making the historic and direct weight jump from Middleweight to Light Heavyweight (154 to 175, thus skipping super middleweight). He is doing this solely to try to top his idol, Sugar Ray Robinson who attempted this in 1954 unsuccessfully. Sugar Ray is considered by many to be the best PFP fighter ever and Hopkins wants to add this notch to his overall legacy. Another side factor is the fact that he promised his dying mother (last year) that who would not fight past 40 so that shows you how strong his ego/desire is.
- Tarver is a successful fighter but has also been in the right places at the right time especially at beating Roy Jones Jr. at the tail end of his historic career. The question on most fans minds is if Tarver is for real and if Hopkins can make the weight jump and show he still has it at 41.
My pick is Hopkins with a unanimous decision (115-113). Hope to have a good rundown on this one tomorrow but this is a good fight to buy into. In addition, it will get you in the mood for next week’s big fight between Winky Wright & Jermain Taylor for the WBC & WBO Middleweight titles.