by Paul Strauss - Forty-three year old Antonio Tarver did a good job with the young whippersnapper Lateef Kayote over the course of twelve rounds. Two of the three judges couldn't agree on who won the fight, and the third judge felt it was a draw.
Article posted on 03.06.2012
Essentially it boils down to two rounds. One judge felt those two rounds should go to Tarver, the other felt they were Kayote's. The third felt it should be one a piece or even. The result is a draw, and Tarver keeps his title. Antonio was understandably happy with keeping his title, but he was very unhappy he didn't get the win.
Tarver admitted he started slow, and agreed the early rounds were won by Kayote, but he felt he deserved every round from the six on. At least one judge agreed with him. He had a good argument.. From the six-round, he was the aggressor, at least most of the time. He set some nice traps in the later rounds, positioning Kayote with his jab or lighter short combinations, followed by a hard straight left. As a result, he shook up Kayote at least twice with hard straight lefts from the southpaw stance. Once, he had Kayote wobbling around a bit.
On the other hand, Kayote proved to have the better hand speed, and displayed showy body punching that Tarver called slaps. Undoubtedly, the judges felt otherwise and were impressed by it. Tarver also claimed the swelling below his left eye was due to a thumb, not a solid punch. Maybe, maybe not?
Tarver wants one more fight at cruiserweight, and then plans to move up to heavyweight. During the post-fight interview, Tarver made a nice gesture in complimenting his ringside announcing partner Al Bernstein for the honor Al is about to receive in being inducted into the IBHOF. Antonio said it was great working with Al, and that he has learned a lot from him.
With the draw, Kayote remains undefeated, and it's a good bet the hyper fighter will brag about having beat Tarver, but got cheated out the victory. He will stay on track for more big fights.