Boxing News: Interview with Tarver/Dawson; Albert-Duran and Ikeke-Ramadan On Sept 23rd

Gray: Antonio you have said that Chad is the future and youíre the now. What gives you the indication that heís not the Ďnowí and the future as well?

Tarver: Well, I feel like Iím at the top of my game. I just took the IBF title from Clinton Woods. Iím here. Iím the unified champion, four-time light heavyweight champion, twice undisputed. Iíve done it all. Iíve beaten everybody so why wouldnít I feel like Iím the now and he can be the future?

Gray: Chad do you feel Antonio is way past his prime?

Chad Dawson: Yes, definitely past his prime. Look at his last three performances. They speak for themselves. Just look at Clinton Woods. He canít even beat a Ďpaycheck.í Clinton Woods didnít put up a fightÖ. He came to collect a paycheck.

Gray: By that same token, you didnít have your best night against Glen Johnson and Antonio didnít have a problem.

Dawson: Like I said, Glen Johnson came to fight, Chad Dawson came to fight. We had a hell of a fight. Iím here, Iím the future and Iím the now. On October 11, I will prove that point to the whole world.

Gray: How do you think youíll be able to do that?

Dawson: I am in tremendous shape like I always am. I come into every fight in tremendous shape. Thereís nothing that Antonio Tarver does that can throw me off my game plan. Heís slow, heís old. Come on, look at my last three performances and look at his and tell me who the better fighter is.

Gray: Antonio youíre response to what youíre hearing here from Chad Dawson?

Tarver: Iím listening to a guy that is very naÔve, a guy that is very young, obviously, mentally and heís sadly mistaking. (Many) have come and tried to conquer and have tried to take me out. It has never been done before and it wonít get done on Oct. 11. All this guy is hoping for is that I show up less then prepared. They are looking to roll the dice and get lucky. Thatís it, bottom line. But Iím here to tell you, Iím here to put the world on notice that it wonít happen. Iíll have my best performance against Chad Dawson. Heís right about the prediction. It wonít go the distance.

Gray: Antonio, he raises an interesting point. You havenít looked your best in your last three fights. It looks like there has been a struggle and it looks like age now has affected you. What have you done in the interceding time to change that trend?

Tarver: Do me a favor. Put the camera up close. This is a fighter that has been in this sport for 20 years. Now do the same with Chad Dawson. Heís ten years my youth. The bottom line is I got the secret to the success. Iíve been here. Iím not going anywhere. You will see a display of the sweet science when I technically annihilate Chad Dawson on the 11th.

Gray: Chad, a lot of people say possibly you donít have the chin and youíve addressed that in the past. What about your chin and what about taking the big punch from him?

Dawson: Iíve never been knocked out. Thatís what I have to say to that. Iíve been down but never been knocked out.

Gray: Do you respect not only what heís (Tarver) done in the past but where he is now as a fighter?

Dawson: I respect what heís done in the past but where he is right now as a fighter, you canít compare that to me. Iím young, Iím fast, Iím strong, Iím in the best shape of my life. Every fight I come in on weight. I never have trouble making weight. Never. I mean thatís a true champion right there. I never have to struggle to make weight because I come in to camp on weight, every camp.

Gray: Why do you feel youíre an underdog and thereís this lack of respect, Antonio?

Tarver: They just donít understand my game. All I do is win and all I do is be successful but they canít understand my game. I was underestimated coming out of the Olympics. They never thought I would reach this plateau. As long as we have critics it gives me something to shoot for.

Gray: Chad, when you hear all this, what is your reaction?

Dawson: I believe in my abilities and he believes in his abilities. But, like he said, October 11, somebody is going home with hell, and itís not going to be me.

Two IBF All-African title fights top ďKnockOut PovertyĒ pro boxing show Sept. 23 at Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City

NEW YORK CITY (September 18, 2008) Ė A pair of International Boxing Federation All-African championship bouts will be featured Tuesday night (September 23) on the ďKnockOut PovertyĒ pro boxing card, presented by Bob Duffyís Ring Promotions, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

ďKnockOut PovertyĒ is a landmark event to help fight poverty in Africa. Grammy Award-winning, UN Goodwill Ambassador Youssou NíDour and friends are among the many stars scheduled for the historic evening of entertainment, music and boxing. NíDour and other musical legends are scheduled to perform between fights with proceeds from the event going to the All For Africa charitable organization.

Two-time Nigerian Olympian and former IBA Continental light middleweight title-holder Eromosele ďBad BoyĒ Albert (21-2, 10 KOs), fighting out of Miami, meets Ghana-native Ossie Duran (23-6-1, 9 KOs), former Commonwealth light middleweight and welterweight champion, in the 12-round main event for the vacant IBF All-African light middleweight title.

Albert, born in Nigeria and now living in Miami, registered his first notable victory in 2005 against Dorian Beaupierre by 12-round decision for the IBA Continental belt. Three fights later, Eromosele won a 10-round win by decision versus the future star of The Contender reality television series, previously unbeaten David Banks (10-0-1). The most significant win to date for ďBad BoyĒ was by 10-round decision against former world champion Luis ďYori BoyĒ Campas (88-9) on ESPN in 2007. A seventh-round knockout of Daniel Edouard (18-1-2) followed, setting the stage for Albertís last fight (May 17, 2008) versus undefeated young contender James Kirkland (21-0) on ShoBox for the NABO light middleweight championship, in which, Eromosele was stopped for the first time in his pro career.

Duran, born Osumanu Yahaya in Ghana, now resides in London. He took an eight-round decision from David Kirk in 2001 for the WBF Pan-European welterweight championship and later that same year, Ossie added the WBF European welterweight belt by 10-round decision against Delroy Millis in London. The Commonwealth welterweight title followed by way of a 12-round victory by decision against Joshua Okine (10-1-1) in Ghana. Duranís most significant victory was a third-round stoppage in 2004 of Jamie Moore (20-1), current British lightweight champion, for the Commonwealth light middleweight championship. Ossie started 2007 off with an impressive win by eight-round decision versus Jonathan Reid (34-4), star of The Contender Season One. Duransís last action (June 1, 2007) resulted in a loss by 10-round decision to Kirkland on ShoBox.

In the 12-round co-feature, former world title challenger Kingsley Ikeke (24-3, 13 KOs) takes on Abdullah Ramadan (15-8, 9 KOs), former IBF Interim light heavyweight title challenger, for the vacant IBF All-African light heavyweight championship.

Nigerian-native Ikeke, fighting out of Los Angeles, won his first 14 pro fights, including the WBC FECARBOX light middleweight title, before suffering his first loss to unbeaten prospect Anthony Hanshaw (11-0) by 10-round decision in 2001. Kingsley bounced right back, winning the vacant NABA middleweight belt in his next fight against Marlon Hayes (21-1) by fifth-round TKO. Three fights later, Ikeke added the NABF and NABO middleweight crowns with a sixth-round technical knockout of Kenny Elis (30-4-2), and in 2005 Kingsley stopped Antwun Echols in the 10th round of their IBF middleweight title eliminator. Later that year in Germany, the 22-1 Ikeke was knocked out for the only time in his pro career by undefeated IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in the fifth round of their world title fight.

Ramadan, living in Toronto, originally is from Sudan. He turned pro in 1990 and holds notable wins against John David Jackson (35-1) and previously unbeaten Lloyd Bryan (16-0). Abdullah lost a 1998 IBF Interim middleweight title fight to Robert Allen (22-2) and is coming off of a loss by 10-round decision last March to Jason Naugler for the Canadian light heavyweight championship.

Former world title challenger, light heavyweight Jaffa ďThe African AssassinĒ Ballagou (45-6, 39 KOs), from Togo, meets multiple World Muay Thai champion Manu Ntoh (17-14-1, 10 KOs), from Cameroon, in an eight-round bout. Rounding out the 4-fight card is a four-round bout between a pair of light welterweights making their pro debuts, Issouf Kinda, of Bukini Faso, and Carlos Fortoso.

For ticket and sponsorship information call 212.351.0111 or go online to

Article posted on 18.09.2008

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