Where do Peter and Tarver go from here?

Antonio TarverBy Robert Jackson: Embarrassing is all that can be said about Samuel Peter's performance, complements of comebacking Vitali Klitschko. Saturday was just 8 rounds on the heavy bag for "Dr. Iron Fists." Were all of Peter's improvements for naught? During the lead up to the fight especially during the weigh-in this writer thought that fear was present in Peter's body language. Or was Peter too relaxed? It looks like the 3.5 years away from the ring provided rest for Klitschko's body and he looked revitalized during the fight. Where does Peter go from here?

Peter will probably never attain the skills to compete consistently at the elite level, but many top fighters will still avoid him. So losing the WBC belt has cost Peter more than the prestige of having it, in terms of dollars Peter will have to take whatever is offered to him and work his way back up to the top a much harder task the 2nd or 3rd time around. Don't think Peter gets there, his aura of invincibility removed considering the beating he took and that he quit on his stool. A young, hungry, up-and-coming, heavyweight will bump Peter off. A good fight for Peter might be against Roy Jones who plans a return to heavyweight after beating Joe Calzaghe? But don't bet on that fight happening.

Antonio Tarver NEVER capitalized on his one punch KO over Roy Jones Jr., and because of it he's considered a one trick pony. To Tarver's credit prior to Saturday's fight he defeated all except one opponent in a rematch, that had become Tarver's MO but Hopkins refused to give him a rematch, and Chad Dawson will also refuse. Not giving Tarver a rematch will effectively stunt his progress, his rematch success was used skillfully to move Tarver into the elite level of the 175lb division and had became Antonio's mantra.

If anyone deserves a rematch against Dawson that would be Glenn Johnson. At 39 this may have been Tarver's last chance to RULE the 175lb division, it seemed like Tarver had aged over night on Saturday because even though he was steady it didn't seem like he had the firepower or energy to compete with the young Lion. To once again rule the 175lb division Antonio will have to be willing to take on other up- and-coming prospects like Tavoris Cloud who just dominated Julio Gonzalez. Also, Tarver will have to beat his next opponents the 1st time around and not expect to do it in a rematch. An alternative could be another fight against Roy Jones Jr. when and if he defeats Joe Calzaghe, but Roy will have more to lose this time around facing Tarver if he gets by Calzaghe. Roy has also said he will finish his career as a heavyweight. Tarver will be the odd man out and his ego won't allow him to to be the gatekeeper, the stepping stone for up and coming 175lbers.

This writer picked against Chad Dawson and Samuel Peter on Saturday, Peter didn't disappoint, and Dawson's win makes it easy to believe he had an off night against Glenn Johnson. The sky is the limit for the two victors of Saturday night's fights, the losers could fade into the proverbial oblivion referred to by Mike Tyson.

Article posted on 13.10.2008

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