Antonio Tarver vs Johnathon Banks Preview Dec 11th
Veteran American Antonio Tarver will meet fellow countryman Johnathon Banks in a 10-round heavyweight battle this Thursday, December 11 at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. The fight can be seen live in America on ESPN 2 while Canadian fans can catch the action live on TSN. Tarver is a former light heavyweight champion who enters the ring with a record of 30-6 with 21 Kos while Banks enters the ring at 29-2-1 with 19 Kos. This fight was supposed to have taken place back on September 29, but the 46-year-old Tarver had to pull out due to a fractured left thumb.
Tarver, who won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, hasn’t fought since November of 2013 when he stopped Mike Sheppard in four rounds. That was his first bout in 17 months, so inactivity is definitely an issue with him. Tarver has some wins over fine opposition in his career as he’s beaten Roy Jones Jr. twice along with ex-light heavyweight champions Glen Johnson, Clinton Woods and Montell Griffin. However he didn’t fare too well against Bernard Hopkins and dropped a unanimous decision to him. He also lost to Johnson and Chad Dawson beat him twice.
The 32-year-old Banks beat Seth Mitchell by a second-round stoppage back in November of 2012 which gave him a 10-bout undefeated streak, with five Kos, but Mitchell beat him by a unanimous decision in a rematch in June of 2013. Banks is also the trainer of heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko and is standing in the way of Tarver, who hopes to earn a shot at Klitschko. This makes Thursday’s fight crucial for Tarver. However, it’s just his second fight in the heavyweight division.
Tarver stands 6-feet-2-inches tall with a 75-inch reach while Banks is 6-foot-3 with a 76-inch reach. Banks hasn’t been very active either lately and both of these guys will have some ring rust tow shale off. Of course, when two inactive fighters meet it can sometimes lead to a first-round knockout as they can be caught cold. Banks was successful when he pressed the action against Mitchell in their first meeting and it resulted in a Ko. But in the rematch he didn’t seem to want to take any chances and ended up paying for it on the scorecards.
Banks isn’t very effective when he’s too cautious, but Tarver isn’t exactly an all-out action fighter either. This means the fans could be lulled to sleep when these two get together Thursday night. Tarver has decent power and is a southpaw, but who knows if his power will still be with him in the heavyweight division. Tarver has a decent chin and Banks isn’t really known as a knockout artist even though he also has good power.
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Tarver’s never been stopped and unless he gets tagged with a perfect shot he won’t get stopped by Banks either. This fight is up for grabs to whoever wants it the most. The aggressor who lets his hands go will have a decided advantage. Banks can’t afford to waste rounds by waiting to counterpunch Tarver. He needs to go after him instead. Tarver has also been known to be too economical with his punches and that makes this an evenly-contested fight. This is a close call, but Tarver will take a decision if he lets his hands go.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights. The odds of a Banks win are listed at -105 while a Tarver victory is listed at -135. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.
Antonio Tarver betting • Johnathon Banks betting