Antonio Tarver Jr. Will Make Professional Boxing Debut on Father’s Card Sept. 29

By C.J. Tuttle Sep 17, 2014

Like father, like son.

Antonio Tarver Jr. will follow in the footsteps of his father, Antonio Tarver, when he makes his professional boxing debut on Sept. 29, a card his dad is headlining against Johnathon Banks.

At 26 years old, Tarver Jr. will fight Zachary Briones in a four-round middleweight bout.

His father, a five-time world light heavyweight champion and 2004 U.S. Olympian, holds a record of 30-6 and is looking to capture the heavyweight title at 45 years old. The first step comes in the 10-round main event against Banks from State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.

Tarver Jr. is looking forward to sharing a fight card with his dad.

"This is a blessing, I've always wanted to fight. This just happens to be on the same fight card as my father. My father came from nothing and he's always persevered. Everything has worked out wonderfully. I grew up in Daytona Beach [Florida], playing basketball and football, but I've known fighters who were on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team with my father -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., Nate Jones and others -- since I was a little kid. I was always with my father at his fights and in the gym, but he never let me fight. Boxing is in my blood, though, and I finally started boxing after I hurt my ankle playing basketball. I was 19 and weighed around 200 pounds,” Tarver Jr. said via press release.

“I was in Tampa with my father and went to the West Tampa Boxing Gym, the old Legends, to get some help because my father said I had to lose weight before I could fight. It took me six months because of my ankle to get down to 180. I didn't have my first amateur fight until I was 20. I finished with an 11-1 record as an amateur, and now I'm just trying to catch up. I'm getting my feet as fast as my hands. Nobody is tougher than me.”

The card is promoted by Golden Boy Boxing and airs on Fox Sports One.


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