By James Slater: Raw yet powerful and energetic cruiserweight Lateef Kayode of Nigeria made his name by holding a big name veteran to a draw earlier this year, and now it seems the Freddie Roach-trained contender will try and go one better and KO a living legend.
According to Kayode’s manager, Steve Feder, who spoke recently with Ringtv.com, a fight between his warrior and all-time great Roy Jones Junior is “imminent.” As fans know, Kayode drew with Antonio Tarver in June, Tarver (who flunked a post-fight drugs test in the summer) being a star who once sensationally KO’d Jones Junior. Kayode-Jones is now being worked on.
“Roy and I are talking directly,” Feder told the website of The Bible of Boxing. “And it’s been a real pleasure trying to work this out with him. We’re both trying to do it sooner rather than later. We talked about late September or some time in early October. It really comes down to the venue and the date. But the fight is imminent.”
In light of how scrappy the Tarver-Kayode bout was, it’s not clear how fans would react to a Kayode-Jones Junior showdown. On paper, one would think Kayode, so much the younger man at age 29, compared to 43 for Jones, would be too strong and too aggressive for the former “Superman.” However, as raw as Kayode appeared against southpaw Tarver, maybe Jones, who has retained some hand-speed if not much else, would have a shot at outboxing and outclassing the younger man known as “Power.”
Jones, 56-8(40) is coming off a reasonable win, one over the previously unbeaten Pawel Glazewski of Poland in June, and it was thought he’d managed to get reigning WBC cruiserweight champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk interested in defending against him. Yet now it seems Jones will face Kayode, in a possible IBO title fight instead (and Wlodarczyk will face Francisco Palacios in a return meeting on Sept. 22nd.)
Many fans feel quite strongly that the once-sublime Jones Junior should have walked away and retired a number of years ago, and these same fans have been saddened to see the once untouchable great being KO’d by the likes of Tarver, Danny Green and, most brutally, Denis Lebedev. No doubt Kayode, 18-0-1(14) will feel that he too can flatten the future Hall of Famer. Maybe he will get his chance in a couple of months or so.