Antonio Tarver vs Lateef Kayode Preview June 2
IBO Cruiserweight Champion Antonio Tarver will enter the ring again on June 2 when he takes on undefeated Lateef “Power” Kayode of Nigeria at Carson California’s Home Depot Center. Tarver, who’s now 43 years old and works as a boxing commentator for Showtime, has won his last two bouts over Danny Green and Nagy Aguilera after losing two straight to current WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson.
Tarver, a southpaw, takes a 29-6 record with him into the ring with 20 KOs while the 29-year-old power-punching Kayode will enter the ring with an undefeated record of 18-0 with 14 KOs. Both fighters stand 6-feet-2 inches tall and Kayode has a minimal two-inch reach advantage.
Tarver is 14 years older than his opponent, but hasn’t really fought much lately and hasn’t been involved in any toe-to-toe brawls throughout his career. He definitely has more experience than Kayode when it comes to big fights and that could be essential during the bout. Tarver has taken on Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. in the past and is used to the pressure.
Tarver needs to come into this fight in great shape since there’s a good chance it could go the distance. Kayode has won his last three bouts by 10-round unanimous decisions, and hasn’t really set the world on fire in them. Tarver can’t match Kayode’s power so will have to use all of the tricks he’s learned over the years to rack up points and stay out of harm’s way.
Even though Kayode hasn’t been at his best in recent bouts, he’ll be certainly be motivated for this fight. In fact, that’s why he and Tarver are meeting in the ring. Kayode was getting tired of Tarver’s constant criticism of him when fighting on Showtime and challenged him to a match. His power means he’s always just one punch away from victory no matter how far behind on the scorecards he may be.
Kayode will need to be the aggressor while Tarver will rely on his smarts, experience, and superior technical skills to win rounds. If Tarver can keep the fight from turning into a brawl he’ll have the advantage as long as he can take Kayode’s power. Kayode certainly has the knowhow to beat Tarver in a fight, but beating him in a boxing match is a different story. Kayode may find Tarver has an excellent chin though since he’s never been knocked out.
Tarver will also be highly motivated as he won’t want to return to his commentators job a loser. That makes this fight an interesting grudge match as there’s some bad blood between the two, especially on Kayode’s side. But if Tarver can get through the first few rounds and settle into a rhythm, it’s likely that he’ll box his way to a decision. However, if he does get Kayode in trouble, Tarver has a killer instinct and will surely try to finish him off.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Tarver win at -425 and a Kayode victory at +340. 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 of late capping the fights.
Written by: Ian Palmer