Promoter Gary Shaw is concerned about the damage done in the sport of boxing after the news Friday that Antonio Tarver tested positive for a banned substance in a pre-fight drug test conducted by the California State Athletic Commission before his fight with Lateef Kayode. “It’s very worrisome where our sport is heading these days with the recent array of fighters testing positive for banned substances,” Shaw said. “With all these fights being canceled its killing the sport and I hope the networks are not going to lose interest. As promoters, we do our best to make sure everyone is abiding by the rules. I’m happy that the commissions are stepping up their stance on catching fighters cheating because the safety of the fighter should always come first. It’s unfortunate that in Lateef Kayode’s first major opportunity, he had to fight on what appears to be an unlevel playing field.”
Shaw continued, “I have a lot of respect for Antonio Tarver and would be very disappointed to find out that he knowingly took performance enhancing drugs. It is my hope that Tarver requests that the B sample will be tested and will show that Tarver was clean. However if the sample comes back dirty, then the commission should take appropriate action. It was a very close fight as it was ruled a split draw, but now that we have been informed by the California State Athletic Commission about the alleged drug use, I’ll have to talk to Lateef and his management team to see what we’ll do to resolve this matter.
“In addition, the horrible scoring by the judges, the excessive use of PED’s, and the inability of promoters working together, is only going to kill this sport. Something needs to be done and major changes need to be made, and the time is now. The boxing business is getting worse by the day and we are losing fans by the minute. Boxing has been around longer than any other sport and we must keep the integrity of the game pure. I implore the commissions around the United States to take severe action against any fighter who doesn’t abide by the commissions’ standards. We need a strict drug testing policy to rid the sport of those that don’t want to play by the rules, and we need more competent judges.”