Antonio Tarver believes he’ll beat Tyson Fury
By Scott Gilfoid: Former light heavyweight champion Antonio ‘Magic Man’ Tarver (31-6-1, 22 KOs) believes he has a real shot at defeating former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) when the two of them fight each other in the future.
Fury called out the 49-year-old Tarver and the 46-year-old Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs last week via social media, saying that he wants to fight both and that he would be sending contracts to them soon. Tarver and Briggs will have to wait Fury to take his comeback fight in April before he picks one of them out for his fight after that.
”Haters gonna say I have no shot… but history tells is different 🥊💯 @gypsyking101 ‘put up or shut up”‼️ and don’t send that contract horse 🐴 and carriage 📝 it might not get here…😂,” Tarver said on Facebook.
Tarver posted what appears to be a recent photo of himself, and he looks youthful and muscular. He doesn’t look like a 50-year-old. Tarver looks more like a fighter around 30. Tarver still hasn’t fought in 2 ½ years since being held to a 12 round draw against Steve Cunningham on August 14, 2015. Fury is roughly in the same situation with him having last fought in November 2015.
There’s only 3 months difference in the inactivity level of Tarver and Fury. In his 2 ½ years of inactivity, Tarver didn’t pile on over 100+ pounds of fat the way Fury did, so it won’t nearly as difficult for him to get in fighting shape when the time comes for him to face Fury in 2018 if he does get call to face him. You can’t really tell for sure whether Fury will fight Tarver. Fury talks a lot in social media in saying he wants to fight guys like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tony Bellew. It doesn’t mean he’s going to be fighting any of them. It could be the same case with Fury talking up fights that will never happen against Briggs and Tarver. It’ll be a disappointment for Tarver if he doesn’t get the fight with Fury, because he seems to be looking forward to it now. This is a second chance for Tarver. He can resurrect his career and show that 50 is just a number. Maybe 50 is the new 30 in the case of Tarver, who for some reason doesn’t age like normal folks.
Here’s what Fury said last week about wanting to fight Briggs and Tarver:
“Hi guys, this is just to clarify something. I tweeted Shannon Briggs before about a fight, came in with a contract. He will not be my comeback fight, but I am going to sign him up anyway for whenever I am ready. I am going to sign Antonio Tarver up too. Tarver, if you are watching, and Briggs, I am going to send you some contracts but don’t expect to be my comeback fights. So train, prepare and get ready.”
Tarver didn’t look bad at all in his last fight against Cunningham. If Tarver had kept fighting, he probably would be a top contender in line for a big payday against Anthony Joshua. Tarver will be a real problem for Fury with his boxing skills, speed, respectable power and southpaw stance. There doesn’t look like there’s much fat on Tarver at all judging from the photo of him.
Tarver will need to be a lot more aggressive against the 6’9” Fury than he was in his 12 round draw against Cunningham. Tarver was giving Cunningham too much respect in that fight, and putting too much emphasis on throwing single shots. To beat Fury, Tarver will need to throw combinations and move quickly to cut off the ring on him. Fury might get scared off if he sees the recent photo of Tarver. Fury could be looking at Tarver’s age more than what his current physical condition is, because he appears to be much shape than the ‘Gypsy King’ is right now. There’s a lot of debate whether Fury will ever be able to get back to the physical peak that he was at in his last fight against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. That was Fury at his physical best.
Tarver won’t be afraid to go after Fury’s chin the way Klitschko was. Wladimir was totally afraid to let his hands go against Fury in 2015. Fury had Wladimir looking gun-shy to let his hands go for fear of being countered. Tarver is not that kind of fighter. He’s willing to take a shot in order to give one. With Tarver, he knows that he’ll never win if he just follows Fury around for 12 rounds looking afraid like Klitschko did in 2015. Fury won that fight based on Wladimir being too afraid to let his hands go than on anything special he did. It could be an ugly fight between Fury and Tarver. It would likely result in a sloppy affair with both guys going it and looking very rusty. Fury will have at least 1 or 2 fights under his belt by the time he faces the 49-year-old Tarver, and that’s not going to be nearly enough for him to knock 2 ½ tears of rusty out of his system.
Tarver beats Fury, it would be the living end. I don’t know how Fury would ever come back from a loss like that. Fury would have to line up a rematch with Tarver, because there’s no way on Earth he’s be able to let him walk away with a win over him. Fury’s career would be over with if he gets beaten by the soon to be 50-year-old Tarver. Even if Tarver still does a lot of talent, the boxing community would be focused on his age and the fact that he beat Fury. It would look so bad. Fury could forget about fighting Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Those fights would be a pipe dream at that stage. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn would likely be crying crocodile tears at the Joshua-Fury fight going down the tubes. In theory, Fury could still possibly come back from a loss to Tarver to still get fights against Joshua and Wilder, but I don’t think it’ll happen. A loss to Tarver would show that Fury deteriorated physically to the extent where he’ll never be able to beat any of the halfway decent contenders in the heavyweight division.