Antonio Tarver Weighs-In At 221 For Heavyweight Debut Vs. Nagy Aguilera, Looks Soft - An Upset On The Cards?

By James Slater: Former light-heavyweight king Antonio Tarver has his heavyweight debut tonight, against the much younger Nagy Aguilera. When the fight was announced a while back, most experts seemed to think the fight was a winnable one for Tarver, if not a certain walk in the park. However, this thinking may well have changed a little now, seeing as how “The Magic Man” looked a little soft, even chubby, at the official weigh-in.

Coming in at a career-heavy 221-pounds, Tarver, though a tall guy, didn’t look too good. Rounded of face and far from toned, the 41-year-old had the look of a fighter who has forced the extra pounds onto his frame. Or maybe Antonio has not trained as hard as he usually does, feeling his 24-year-old foe poses no real threat to him. Tarver has big plans for his time as a heavyweight, including a title fight with either of the two Klitschko brothers or David Haye - yet all these big plans will come to nought if he loses tonight.

Not only will Tarver be carrying more weight than ever before, he will also be carrying a ton of ring-rust with him tonight. Not having boxed since his May, 2009 loss to Chad Dawson, the southpaw is sure to be less than a hundred-percent sharp in there. And against the aggressive Aguilera (who tipped-in at a ready 232-pounds), the man who destroyed that other veteran, in Oleg Maskaev, Tarver could be in trouble in the early rounds.

Though he was taken out quickly by Sam Peter in his only other big fight, Aguilera, 16-4(11) is no gimme for Tarver, 27-6(19). And just because he was stopped by Peter, a genuine banger, Aguilera isn’t doomed to be KO’d by Tarver. We simply don’t know how hard Tarver’s left hand (his best weapon) will be up at heavyweight; nor do we know how his speed will be affected.

Going by his weight and inactivity, Tarver, to me anyway, looks to have a hard night ahead of him. If his best shots catch Aguilera but nothing happens, or if Tarver is too slow to hit his man, he will be in real trouble. We know Aguilera has decent speed and power, and we know he has good stamina. Could it be that the vastly younger man out-works the veteran 175-pounder, and pounds out a clear points win? Tarver has never been stopped, so that would come as a shock, even in his heavyweight debut. I can see Nagy upsetting a lot of lofty plans by taking home a points win though.

Aguilera to score the upset? I go for the man known as “Dominican Dynamite” to win a decision tonight.

Article posted on 16.10.2010

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