Thursday, February 02, 2023  |


Antonio Tarver to fight Johnathon Banks on Sept. 29


Former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver will end a 10-month ring absence with a heavyweight bout against Johnathon Banks on Sept. 29 at The State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, Mike Battah of Leija-Battah Promotions announced.

Tarver-Banks will air on Fox Sports 1 and is co-presented by Golden Boy Promotions.

A resident of the Tampa Bay area of Florida who turns 46 in November, Tarver (30-6, 21 knockouts) had his most recent fight last November, when he scored three knockdowns en route to a fourth-round stoppage of Mike Sheppard that ended a 17-month ring absence.

Tarver had returned to the action for the first time since June 2012, when he tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid drostanolone following a draw-turned-no-contest with Lateef Kayode.

A 1996 Olympic bronze medalist, Tarver is best known for winning two of three bouts against Roy Jones Jr., including a second-round stoppage victory in their second meeting.

Tarver also owns wins over ex-light heavyweight titleholders such as Glen Johnson, Clinton Woods and Montell Griffin.

Tarver had won two straight before facing Kayode, having scored a unanimous decision as a heavyweight against Nagy Aguilera in October 2010 and a ninth-round knockout of cruiserweight Danny Green in July of 2011, respectively.

With those wins, Tarver bounced back from consecutive unanimous decision losses to Chad Dawson in 2008 and 2009.

Banks (29-2-1, 19 KOs) split his past two bouts with Seth Mitchell, winning by second-round stoppage in November 2012 to extend his winning streak to 9-0-1 with five knockouts before falling by unanimous decision in their rematch in June 2013.

A Detroit native who turned 32 in June, Banks is the trainer of RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, and was formerly advised and trained, himself, by the late Emanuel Steward, to whom he served as an assistant.