Tarver (29-6-0-1, 20 KOs) last exited the squared circle in June 2012 following a controversial draw with Nigerian Lateef Kayode.
However, the bout was ultimately declared a no contest after it was revealed that Tarver tested positive for the anabolic steroid drostanolone during a pre-fight urine screening conducted by The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring and showing the world that the ‘Magic Man’ is better than ever and ready for the big fights,” said Tarver, 44, who was suspended for one-year by the CSAC. “This is the perfect opportunity to make a statement at home and I can’t wait.”
Comparatively, Sheppard (21-15-1, 9 KOs) most recently left the ring on August 3 as a unanimous decision victor over Justin Novaria.
“Beating someone like Antonio Tarver would be career-altering for me,” said Sheppard, 38, who had lost three consecutive matches prior to meeting Novaria. “I know what he’s accomplished in the sport, but I’m hungry for this and you’re going to see the best Mike Sheppard yet.”
A southpaw from Orlando who earned a bronze medal as a light heavyweight at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Tarver is a decent pugilist mainly known for beating Roy Jones and the fictional Rocky Balboa as Mason “The Line” Dixon,
Unfortunately, it’s now evident that “The Magic Man” doesn’t believe he can prevail without the aid of synthetic testosterone.
Sports figures across the board have long deceived, and lied to, the public and Tarver’s nothing more than a cheater.
Against a substandard prizefighter, Tarver should emerge victorious later this autumn.
Regardless, Antonio Tarver will never again be considered “for the big fights.”by