Q&A: Antonio Tarver

Yesterday Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (27-6, 19 KOs) took time from his training camp to answer a few questions about his upcoming heavyweight bout against Nagy Aguilera (16-4,11 KOs), which will take place at the Showplace located inside the Buffalo Run Casino. SHOWTIME World Championship Boxing (ShoBox) will televise the event, which is being promoted by Gary Shaw Promotions. Tickets are on sale now at the SHOWPLACE BOX OFFICE, $40, $60 and $95 by calling 918-542-7140 Ext. 220 or visit

Antonio, how do you feel about coming to Miami, OK and fighting at Buffalo Run Casino for your debut has a heavyweight?

I’m looking forward to fighting in Miami, OK, it’s not South Beach, but I want Buffalo Run Casino and the city of Miami, OK to know I’m coming. Have the local Fire Department at ringside because I’m bringing a lot of heat and explosives with me in the ring on fight night. I plan on sending a statement to the heavyweight division.

This is your first fight at heavyweight, talk to us about your training, conditioning, or anything else that you are doing different for preparation.

I’m training on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday with my strength & conditioning coach. I run after finishing work outs or I run early mornings on days I’m not with my conditioning coach. When your lifting weights it takes a little time, you want to give your body some rest before you do your gym work. At the beginning of training camp we started out on the heavy bag before sparring with 18 oz gloves which was different because we usually start with 14 oz gloves. But my trainer thought it would be better for me because I would be hitting bigger guys and they would be stronger. We wanted to get use to working out with bigger gloves, when we come down to 10 oz I will have that natural power. I have a great conditioning coach and he’s been working with me on a lot of different things. Before I was always afraid of lifting weights because I didn’t want to put on muscle weight, but for this fight the weight is good for me. My diet is better, I’m replenishing my body like it’s suppose to be rather than cutting back and hurting my body. Even in sparring I’m going longer, stronger and I can go all out and not have to worry about getting tired. I don’t have the stress of losing weight. I always loss about 25lbs to 30lbs before a fight, that was natural. I think in my last few fights it hurt my performance because I didn’t think I would have enough in the tank. This fight I can go all out and have the confidence that I have a lot left in the tank because of my preparation and conditioning.

Considering where you are in your career, do you think you should have moved up to the heavyweight division sooner:

I think I should have moved up sooner, especially moving up in age at 35, 36 and 37. But at the time I was the best light heavyweight in the world. I didn’t really take that under consideration. I’ve always thought that heavyweights where in a league of their own. But I realize that walking around at 217 lbs why don’t I just get stronger instead of killing myself to make weight. Actually lifting weights has made me a better athlete because I was always afraid to do that kind of conditioning thinking I was going to put on to much muscle. With the kind of conditioning and preparation I have been going through, I really feel I have the power to hurt people in the heavyweight division. And if they feel my power, I will be the next heavyweight champion of the world.

Everyone talks about the night you gave Roy Jones Jr. his first knockout, but what is just has memorable was after receiving the instructions from the referee, you ask Roy Jones Jr. “Got any excuses tonight Roy. Tell us about that moment.

Psychologically it could have had an effect on him, but I didn’t care. The stage was set, I didn’t see anyone in the audience, I was totally focus on Roy Jones Jr. and my dreams. I knew I had beat him the first time we fought, they took the fight away from me and I knew I had to knock him out to win. The stars where lined up in my favor that night.

Not only are you a world class boxer, but currently a boxing analyst for SHOWTIME and movie actor. You where the co-star in the last Rocky Balboa movie. Talk to us about making the movie and working with Sly Stallone?

That was such a great experience, I have to pinch myself even today, I just can’t believe I had that opportunity. When I look back as a young man growing up wanting to be a boxer, the Rocky movies where huge and had a big effect on me. Just to be considered for the part sent chills through my body. Still does today when I think about it. Sly was great to work with, he made me feel very comfortable. I take a lot of pride in making that movie. Sly trusted me to help direct the fight scenes. I had a lot of offers for other parts that I turn down because I still had boxing in my blood. Acting is something that I would like get more involved with after I retire from boxing.

Thank you Antonio for taking time from your training schedule

Thank you very much, Miami, Oklahoma here I come.

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