Exclusive Interview With Lateef Kayode - ďI Want To Apologise To Showtime For What I Said. I Want A Rematch With Tarver"

boxingBy James Slater: This past Saturday, unbeaten, powerful, yet raw cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode looked to have done enough to have out-pointed veteran star Antonio Tarver. The fight in Carson was, however, scored a draw after 12 somewhat messy, at times wild, at times exciting rounds (I for one enjoyed the fight; I donít know about you?)

Nigeriaís Kayode, trained by the great Freddie Roach, soon got himself into hot water due to letting loose with an angry tirade which was brought about by disappointment and frustration. Indeed, Lateefís outburst became the talking point of the fight a whole lot of people expected more from.

I called Kaoyde up this evening, and the 29-year-old came across as a nice guy, who was genuinely apologetic for all the things he said after the fight, one which brought his pro record to 18-0-1(14). Kayode is also desperate to get Tarver into the ring for a second time..

Here is what Lateef had to say:

James Slater: Thanks for taking the time to speak with Eastside Boxing, Lateef. Have you watched a tape of your fight with Tarver yet?

Lateef Kayode: Yeah, Iíve watched the fight again and again. I won the fight. Everyone knows I won the fight! I won really big. One thing I really want to say, is I am sorry for what I said on Showtime. Iím sad for what I said, I didnít mean it. I hope they can forgive me, please.

J.S: By how big a margin do you think you won the fight? I had you up by a point, for what itís worth.

L.K: I controlled the fight. The first six rounds, I was busy and I controlled the action. He came on, after his corner was unhappy with him, in the 6th, 7th and 8th - he caught me with a nice one-two to the head and he was trying to knock me out. I missed and I lost my balance. But the 11th and 12th, it was all me. So the first five or six and the last two have to go to me, so how was it a draw? I threw more power punches than him. All his team knew he lost the fight. Afterwards, people from everywhere came up to me and said, Ďgood job.í Everyone from all over the world knows I won.

J.S: You want a rematch, obviously?

L.K: One thing I want to say first: I donít know what it was, whether it was cocoa butter or what, but he had something on his body and it made my body punches slip down and miss. They said my punches missed the target (and hit Tarver low), but I hit him in the body but the cocoa butter or whatever it was that he had greased himself up with, made my punches slip. I donít know what it was.

J.S: But you want the rematch?

L.K: I want it, but I donít think he wants it. I know now what to do to beat him. They say Iím sloppy, but Iím young and Iím improving all the time. This was my first championship fight. My team will train me and make a difference in each fight. They [Team-Tarver] thought Iíd come in and be aggressive and look for the KO, but I boxed and used movement. Theyíd never seen me box before and they were very surprised. My fights on You Tube, Iím always going for the KO. I can surprise anyone in the ring. Iím learning all the time. The people who saw the fight know I was stronger. They say he [Tarver] was old, but I donít care about his age. He wanted to fight, heís not old. I beat him and now they say it was because heís old.

J.S: Who else would you like to fight if you canít get Tarver again? And would you ever like to move up to heavyweight one day?

L.K: Iím ready for anybody right now. But Tarver says he may move up to heavyweight, or he may fight Marco Huck. How can he fight Marco Huck? He [Tarver] has to deal with me first! I tell you the truth, Tarver is looking for money right now. He knows Iím too good. But Iím ready for anybody, for any champion. Iíll wait and see who wants to take me on. I would love to move to heavyweight, but not now. I want to win a world cruiserweight title and defend it all over the world first.

J.S: Well, best of luck for your next fight, Lateef. Thanks for talking with me.

Article posted on 07.06.2012

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