Antonio ‘The Magic Man’ Tarver has attained fame both inside and outside the ring. Besides being a ranked heavyweight contender, Tarver has acted in big Hollywood feature films and is a well respected boxing commentator with Spike TV.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio special with Antonio Tarver, I get his thoughts on Floyd Mayweather possibly fighting beyond the Andre Berto fight, and if he thinks Mayweather has anything to prove against Pacquiao. Additionally Antonio shares his views on Shannon Briggs and on stepping in to take a title fight on short notice. Here is what Antonio Tarver had to say.
Jenna J: If Floyd Mayweather beats Andre Berto, do you think Floyd can resist the money of a 50-0 fight against Pacquiao?
Antonio Tarver: Mayweather’s gonna fight because he loves fighting. He’s obviously made enough money, so it’s gotta be for the love of the sport. I would have been retired if it was me, personally, but that’s on him. He can write the book any way he wants to write it, but as long as they give him forty to fifty million, who’s gonna retire on that?
The game retires guys, it’s very rare that a guy on top of his game walks away. As long as he keeps cashing checks it’s gonna be tough thing for him to go, but it’s up to him. I think he should have retired after he beat Pacquiao, because that was the pinnacle of everything, everything under that is gonna be anticlimactic.
He’s never gonna be able to win with the guys he faces unless he comes out and takes some crazy unnecessary risk and gamble, and why should he have to? Gennady Golovkin is not even in his weight class. The man has fought every 147lb fighter, so he’s gonna do it his way.
Jenna J: Do you think Floyd has anything to prove after the Pacquiao fight?
Antonio Tarver: No, when he beat Pacquiao the first time, that was a wrap. He’s got nothing to prove. If he wants some more easy money, he can take the fight but come on, that night I saw that Pacquiao could never beat Mayweather, it doesn’t look like it because he couldn’t hit the guy. His footing was wrong, he was jumping around and Mayweather saw all that coming. Mayweather is an artistic fighter, just like me but some people get praised for their boxing IQ and other people don’t, but he’s in the driver seat.
Jenna J: In terms of match ups, a fight that was talked about before was a fight between you and Shannon Briggs. Do you think you two will fight if Shannon wins his next fight?
Antonio Tarver: Man, Shannon Briggs is gonna definitely win his next fight. Are you kidding me? He’s not fighting no one. I’m gonna let Shannon Briggs do what he wants to do but he ain’t ready to step up to the plate and fight any significant fight. He’s not fighting on TV, he’s in the dark, so he’s fighting guys like that. It’s laughable, so I’m not even gonna give him any airplay.
It’s a good function he’s doing with all the heavyweight champions coming to town and they’re celebrating, that’s a good deal. All the champions are gonna be in one spot, that’s gonna be phenomenal, but other than that, come on. I’m not giving Shannon no airplay on my interviews because he doesn’t even deserve that. He’s gonna win his next fight — he’s probably gonna win the rest of them until he fights somebody who knows how to fight. I’m trying to go for the big fish, it’s not a circus and I’m not a clown.
Jenna J: In terms of yourself, are you going to stay ready just in case an opportunity appears on short notice?
Antonio Tarver: No I’m not stepping in nowhere on short notice, that’s not the type of fighter that I am. Let them do that with these other guys, these bums and these guys out here that are just looking for a payday, let them do that. That’s not the type of fighter that I am, I’m looking for history, there’s a difference.
I’m not a prize fighter, I’m a proud fighter. Let those guys disrespect those other fighters, I’m not that type of fighter, I’m a world class fighter and should be on a world stage. If we fight, it’s gonna happen. The right promotion, the right marketing, and it’s gonna be fitting of two great champions. That’s the only way that fight is going down, there won’t be any short notice filling in for nobody, of course not.
Jenna J: In closing, is there any message you want to pass along to all your followers?
Antonio Tarver: Yeah I want to really just say to my fans that I appreciate the support and we need to continue to support my social media as well as my website. Social media @AntonioTarver, and my beautiful website, OfficialAntonioTarver.com. We got great logo hats and tee shirts.
We need continue support, tune in, buy tickets and come out to support me. It seems like I don’t have the support that I need to get to where I need to go, and it’s kind of difficult and it kind of really makes me look at over the years of giving the world a lot of great nights and unforgettable moments.
Right now I need the support so they can know that I have people that believe in me and follow me and that want to see me succeed. It’s a great story for boxing with me making the move to be the oldest man to capture the heavyweight championship and surpass the great George Foreman. They can’t write me off, I just fought a top ten fighter and everybody thought I beat him. He’s almost ten years younger, so I can still do it.
I’m gonna get back in the gym because I feel like I could have had some major improvements. I gotta get ready, stay ready, but it’s not gonna be for no last minute call. I’m gonna promote and market a fight like it should be marketed and the world’s gonna know that I’m gonna get a shot at the title when that time does come. There’s no more auditions, I don’t think I need to do any more auditions. I proved that on any given night I can beat anybody.