photos by Tiffany Lam: Thursday night ESPN Boxing put on a special three-hour telecast featuring four bouts. It was all part of a stacked Goossen Promotions card at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula California dedicated to the memory of the late Dan Goossen.
In the main event, 46-year-old Antonio Tarver was coming in off a yearlong layoff against Detroit native Johnathon Banks, who was making his ring return after a year and half off himself. The heavyweight fight started very slowly, drawing boos from the crowd. But Tarver the former light-heavyweight champion of the world, appeared to be in control, occasionally timing his opponent and landing clean left hands that buzzed him. Banks did absolutely nothing but feint and tie up, hardly throwing a punch in the early rounds. Tarver’s game plan was obvious, to lure Banks in for a big counterpunch. But would he have the speed, and power, to pull it off?