Antonio Tarver vs Steve Cunningham Preview August 14th
Two ageing veterans will meet each other this Friday, August 14th when Antonio Tarver and Steve Cunningham step into the ring in a 12-round heavyweight bout at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. This is another Premier Boxing Champions production and it can be seen live in the U.S. and Canada on Spike TV. It’s possible that the winner of this tilt will receive a shot at WBC Heavyweight Champion and fellow American Deontay Wilder.
The 46-year-old Tarver will climb into the ring with a record of 31-6 along with 22 Kos while the 39-year-old Cunningham has a mark of 28-7 with 13 Kos. Tarver has held three world titles in the past and Cunningham is a former two-time world champ. Tarver, who’s a southpaw, stands 6-feet-2-inches tall and has a 75-inch reach while Cunningham is 6-foot-3 and has a decided reach advantage at 82 inches. However, Tarver holds the edge in power with a knockout ratio of 58 per cent compared to Cunningham’s 37 per cent.
Cunningham, a former cruiserweight champ, has enough power to deck an opponent though if he catches them clean, but his chin is somewhat questionable at this point in his career. He boasts a 4-3 record since moving up to heavyweight. Tarver began his career back in 1997 as a light heavyweight after taking a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia a year earlier. He won a pair of belts as a light heavyweight before moving up to cruiserweight and this will be his fourth as a heavyweight.
Cunningham’s last fight was a unanimous-decision defeat at the hands of Vyacheslav Glazkov back in March, but it was a controversial decision in the eyes of many fans. Tarver’s last outing was a seventh-round stoppage over Johnathon Banks and he performed well, especially considering he’s 46 years old. Both guys should be motivated here if there’s a chance at fighting for the heavyweight crown and this should be a competitive fight regardless of their ages.
The reach advantage for Cunningham needs to be utilized by him in this fight if he hopes to be successful. He needs to use his boxing skills and stay away from Tarver’s power while picking him off enough to rack up points on the scorecards. Tarver could make the mistake of relying too much on his power and could find himself in trouble if he isn’t able to land and hurt Cunningham with his big shots. Cunningham has been dropped several times in his career, but only Tyson Fury has been able to stop him and that 2013 loss was due to a borderline foul by Fury.
Tarver has met the tougher opposition during his career with bouts against the likes of Roy Jones Jr., Glen Johnson, Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins. However, he struggled against most of them apart from Jones and he’s fought just once per year on average since 2009. Cunningham has met the likes of Fury, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Tomasz Adamek, but those bouts resulted in losses.
This fight depends on the activity of the boxers. If Cunningham is energized and active he should be able to outbox Tarver. He needs to stay away from Tarver’s power though and can’t let his opponent dictate the pace. Tarver isn’t an action fighter and often doesn’t let his hands go nearly enough. Instead, he depends on his power. Cunningham may not have the power to become the first man to stop Tarver, but he does have the skills to outbox him if he decides to use them.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights. The odds of a Cunningham victory are currently listed at -175 while a Tarver win is listed at +155. 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.