Boxing


Antonio Tarver To Use Rematch Clause Against Chad Dawson, But Can "The Magic Man" Do Any Better In A Second fight?

Antonio Tarverby James Slater - It has been reported by a number of sources that Antonio Tarver will put into operation the rematch clause his October 11th bout with Chad Dawson carried in the contract. Tarver, as fans know, was widely out-pointed by the younger man in Dawson and was even given a count late in the fight. Will "The Magic Man," now almost 40-years-of-age, possibly be able to do any better in a return bout with the seriously younger man known as "Bad" Chad?

Few will believe so. In fact, another, perhaps more relevant question, is will anyone really want to see Tarver and his fellow southpaw rival go at it for a second time? Fight one was no stinker, but it was no classic either. Dawson, 13-years Tarver's junior, was simply too fast and too sharp for the "Rocky Balboa" star and set a pattern that he stuck with throughout. Should the two men meet again it's extremely likely, indeed probable, that the same thing will happen again. But Tarver does not agree with such thinking.

It must be said, also, that Tarver does have a good track record when it comes to rematches. He dropped a 2000 decision to Eric Harding, only to come back two years later to stop Harding in the 5th-round. Tarver also lost a controversial decision to the great Roy Jones Junior in 2003, only to famously come back and beat Jones twice, once by a shockingly quick 2nd-round KO. And, sandwiched in-between his two revenge wins over ones, Tarver lost and then won a decision over "Road Warrior" Glen Johnson. So, it's easy to see why, in Tarver's mind, he can come back and win another return fight; this one with the 26-year-old who took his IBF world title two weeks ago.

The difference, however, is the fact that Dawson defeated Tarver more convincingly and more comprehensively than any of the previous three men who beat him. A sure sign that age is finally getting to Tarver? Very possibly. It's hard to see what Tarver can do about such a thing, too. His reflexes unlikely to have gotten any sharper by the time the rematch rolls around, Antonio will encounter the same problems he did on October 11th. Beaten to the punch, out-sped and out-classed by a younger man with much swifter hands and feet, the 39-year-old looked frustrated at times.

With his hefty left hand, Tarver can never be written off completely. Neither can a sensational Jones-type KO be totally dismissed either. But it looks to this writer as though "The Magic Man's" last successful trick was the one he performed when making sure he would be in a position to be able to get a return fight with Dawson. Once the bell rings, however, Tarver will be all out of magic.

Dawson to repeat his UD points win.

Article posted on 25.10.2008



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