On June 19th after the Showtime telecast of the Andre Ward destruction of Alan Green, commentator and former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver announced that he was returning to the ring as a heavyweight fighter.
Should Antonio Tarver be seen as a serious contender in the ever increasingly irrelevant world of heavy weight boxing?
Tarver due to his elite amateur and professional pedigree is not likely to be adversely influenced by the bright lights and hype of world championship boxing. Unlike some of the recent fighters that have attempted to ascend to the top, Tarver has been there, successfully, many times before.
At 6 feet 2 inches, Tarver certainly has the frame for the heavyweight division. In shape he will obviously be at the smaller end of the weight class now ruled by the mammoth 6ft. 6in. Klitschko brothers. But boxing has a history of smaller fighters making their mark on the biggest stage ala Evander Holyfield.
The Klitschko brothers certainly have the size and strength advantage but speed, quickness and athletic ability clearly go to Tarver. Wladimir has suffered two TKO losses in his career (Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster). Vitali has experienced a TKO at the hands of the great Lennox Lewis. Antonio Tarver has never been KO'd or sustained heavy damage in his professional career. The Klitschko brothers have also battled injury during their impressive careers whereas Tarver has enjoyed a very healthy reign.
It is often said in boxing "styles make fights" and if that's true these potential match-ups may impress. A Larger, orthodox European fighter against a smaller, quicker American south paw fighter may be just what the viewing public needs to regain interest in the heavy weight division.
When is the last time you watched or even cared about a heavy weight fight?
Can Antonio Tarver bring some real excitement back to the heavy weight division?
He's performed magic before.