Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Lem's latest: Kayode targets Tarver; Berto prepping for Ortiz
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Undefeated cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode has his eyes, and his ire, focused on former light heeavyweight champ and fellow 200-pound contender Antonio Tarver.
"The fight is close, we already have a date for the fight and that's May 26, we are negotiating. That's what we're waiting for," said Kayode, who is 18-0- with 14 knockouts. "There's already been announcements everywhere that me and Tarver, we are fighting. So I'm ready."
Kayode, who turned 29 on March 3, claims that he is somewhat angry stemming from perceived criticism of his abilities from Tarver while the latter has worked ringside as a Showtime boxing analyst during Kayode's fights.
"Any time that I fight on Showtime, this man, he always talks bad about me. Never when I'm doing good, always when I make mistakes. He's always waiting for my mistakes. He says that my punches are slapping punches. But none of my punches are slapping. I always fold my glove like a zero," said Kayode.
Trained by "Freddie Roach, who also handles WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquia, Kayode spent part of his summer sparring with heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell in preparation for Mitchell's second-round knockout of Timur Ibragimov at the Washington Convention Center.
While he said that training with the hard-hitting Mitchell bolstered his confidence, Kayode also has taken to studying video of Tarver (29-6, 20 KOs), who turned 43 in November.
"I said, 'okay, I'll go back to Youtube and see the way that he fights.' Then I watched him and saw that this guy has a slapping jab. He can't take punches. I saw a lot of his fights. How he drops his hands," said Kayode.
"This guy says I'm slapping? That I'm not that good? That I'm not aggressive? Okay, now, let's show the world who is the best. I'm calling you out. I want to show the world who is the best."
Tarver is coming off a ninth-round stoppage of cruiserweight Danny Green in Australia during which he used a second-round left hand to drop Green on the way to the first knockout loss of the Aussie's career.
Green had scored a first-round knockout of Roy Jones Jr. in December of 2009, and was Tarver's second straight, following his unanimous-decision triumph over heavyweight Nagy Aguilera in October of 2010.
Tarver's win over Aguilera ended a 17-month layoff for that had followed consecutive losses to Chad Dawson in October of 2008 and May of 2009.
"I think that he has been a good boxer in the past, and I'm nice to him when I see him. I say, 'how are you.' I never curse or say anything bad about anybody," said Kayode.
"But this is a game. I'm trying to feed my family and you're trying to feed your family too. At the same time, we have to have this fight. You can be a champion, but remember, somebody's coming behind you. You can't be there forever."
Kayode said that he already is in training at the Wildcard Boxing Gym operated by Roach in Hollywood, Calif., and that he plans to join Pacquiao training in the Philippines next month as Pacquiao prepares for a June 9 defense of his belt opposite WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley that is slated for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"I guess that Tarver found himself in a bad situation when he was at heavyweight, now, he wants to come back to cruiserweight," said Kayode. "So he's looking around and he's trying to say bad things about me, but now he's got himself into trouble."
JONES RETURN TO THE RING: AS A CORNER MAN
Jones, meanwhile, will be working the corner of former WBO junior welterweight belholder Kendall Holt (27-5, 15 KOs) when Holt meets Tim Coleman (19-2-1, 5 KOs) on March 16 at Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon, Calif.