Antonio Tarver: ‘My son is not me’
On Saturday, Shane Mosley Jr. lost for the first time, falling by split decision to Marchchristopher Adkins in a four-round, junior middleweight bout.
On Sunday, former light heavyweight titleholder Antonio Tarver Sr. and Antonio Jr. watched a replay of Adkins-Mosley and gained some perspective in advance of Junior’s Sept. 29 pro debut against 154-pound rival Zachary Briones at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
“My son is not me and I’m not going to put that pressure on him to be me. I’m just going to allow him to grow and to be the fighter that he’s meant to become and he’s going to have those development opportunities,” said Tarver Sr. of his 26-year-old son.
“That’s going to have to happen in the gym but he has a long way to go like I’ve said. He’s a great talent but if even if Floyd Mayweather was overmatched early on, he would have a couple of losses on his record. You’ve got to allow a guy to grow into the professional ranks.”
Mosley Jr. (2-1, 2 knockouts) failed to capitalize after having wobbled Adkins (3-1, 2 KOs) with a counter right in the opening round and appeared to tire over the next three, according to a report by Norm Frauenheim of RingTV.com.
“I thought he won the fight. I thought that maybe he got overexcited and tried to land one big shot,” said Mosley’s father, the former three-division titlist who co-trained his son with his own father, Jack Mosley.
“He can punch. I’ve sparred with him a few times…you learn from these things. I’ve been through them. I told him you just can’t leave it up to the scorecards like that but when you lose one you really should have won, it just makes it that much tougher.”
Tarver Sr. attributed Mosley’s loss to “bad matchmaking.”
“Shane is a young 23-year-old and this guy was 29. You’ve got a grown man in there and he had a grown man’s strength and that’s the difference when you’re looking at 10-ounce gloves and a strong man. It was bad matchmaking,” said Tarver.
“That’s how these young fighters get beat early. They’re not giving them time to grow and to mature into the type of fighter that they’re going to be. He can learn from this and definitely continue and get better and I believe that he will but that was just bad matchmaking.”
Although Tarver works closely with his son, he said he mostly leaves the final hands-on training to Orlando Cuellar because “a lot of times, it’s harder coming from me than it is coming from somebody else.”
“Sometimes, as fathers, we want our sons to get to the same places that we are but we’re not allowing them the chance to develop. My son hasn’t had an extensive amateur career so, of course, I have to match him properly. That’s the most important thing right now,” said Tarver.
“You have to let him develop and to not put that type of pressure on him. I do put pressure on him to look good and to perform but you have to be able to allow him to do that with the right types of fighters and the right types of fights. You’ve got to allow him to grow and to take his time doing that. I can’t expect him to be me and I do not expect him to be me.”
Note: Antonio Tarver’s thumb injury forced the postponement of his own heavyweight bout against Johnathon Banks that was scheduled to be the Sept. 29 main event.
In place of Tarver-Banks, a featherweight bout between Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. and Raul Hidalgo has been elevated to main event status.