Why Does Anyone Like Tarver?

this is a serious question. Other than the KO of RJJ making him a hero to RJJ haters, I honestly can't understand why anyone would be a fan of his

Every fight of his i've ever seen, he had an extremely low work rate, posed more than he fought, wouldn't fight more than 30 seconds of any round, looked timid whenever the other guy tried to do anything back to him

but then after the fight most of the time he's full of energy, running around and beating his chest and talking himself up. Every loss he's ever had was a bad decision, according to him, and every win, no matter how dull, was a masterful boxing clinic

The only fight I ever saw him look good in, and I admit i've only seen about 10 of his fights, was the 2nd RJJ one, and he looked like his usual shitty self in round 1 and just had that one good punch in round 2.

I honestly don't get how anyone can cheer for him. So someone explain it to me, please

"Other than the KO of RJJ making him a hero to RJJ haters"

I think you're on to something.

yeah i'm not trying to be a dick at all, but i can't figure out why anyone would like him, seriously. he's basically a 50/50 fighter over the last few years, and even the wins he's looked like ass in, like RJJ 3 and this latest one against Murqui or however you spell it

he's close to retirement and he's like 25-4. its sort of embarrassing that he refers to himself as a "great" fighter, or that anyone else does either

He is vastly overrated and caught RJJ at the tailend of his career. If he fought the Roy that whooped on Ruiz, Roy would have retired Tarver.

one thing in his favor is that he is definitely the most fan friendly guy in boxing. he will stand there for hours talking and signing and posing for pictures.

I agree, but Tarver did have one other good performance, when he KO'd Harding, which got him the fight with RJJ.

well i admit i didn't see him KO Harding, but even with that in his favor, i don't see how being exciting in maybe 1/3 of your fights makes you a "great" fighter or a fan favorite

i was really seriously hoping that someone could come on and tell me why they think he's so great. someone here used to give me shit all the time about what an ignorant fool i am because i can't see his greatness, and i've forgotten who it was

Probably Gaytor.

it didn't strike me as classic, it just seemed like him being a punk. i mean that was my reaction before the fight even started

it looks good now because he got an early KO, but stick that line in at the start of the first or third fights with RJJ and it just makes Tarver look more like a tool than he already did

That line was hilarious. Maybe it was him being a punk, but he fucking punked RJJ that night before the fight AND during it.

i seriously expected someone to be able to explain Tarver fandom to me

he beat roy when people thought roy was unbeatable and that made many people like him and he has a great personality in interviews and in person. he is fan friendly.

If you watched him coming up, you'd know he did something special. At least by today's standards. He bounced back from his one early loss to beat in succession Lincoln Carter, Chris Johnson, Reggie Johnson, Eric Harding in the rematch, Montell Griffin and then the Jones fights and Glen Johnson. I don't remember such a Clubber Lang-like journey up the top10.

i disagree about Roy's lack of skill. i think he just didn't need to use the skill he has most of the time. if you watch fights where he was serious, like the 2nd one against Griffin or the one against Ruiz, he was very technically sound. you saw alot more jabs out of him vs Ruiz than you ever saw in any other 5 RJJ fights put together, that's for sure

There's nothing really wrong with Jones' fundamentals. He doesn't jab as much as he did in the amateurs and early pro career, but that's not really a technical fault, it's a sometimes tactical one. Holding your left arm down isn't wrong either. There's plenty of fighters who fight this way and have done so for decades without being called unorthodox.

What makes Roy a master is his ability to control distance, feint and set traps. The last two are things that incumbent p4p king Floyd Mayweather is no master of, though a proficient enough a feinter. So, it's what Roy does when nothing (to the undisciplined eye) appears to be going on that makes him so special.

I remember reading an interview where Alton Merkerson said he saw a decline in Jones' ability to control the pace and distance. He was not worried about Jones being significantly slower. I can't find the interview right now, but I believe it may even have been previous to Tarver II. Speed is also dependent on the platform it is employed from. Speed from a fighter like Shane Mosley or even more starkly, Manny Pacquiao, is blunt, direct and obvious in it's aggression. This is highly effective in the right fight at the right time (Mosley vs De la Hoya I, Manny Pacquiao vs Marco Antonio Barrera), but can be a detriment at other times (Mosley vs Winky Wright I, Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez). Jones and Mayweather use it from a different kind of base. I don't think Jones was so much relying on speed all these years, as he was relying on his great ability of ring generalship, from which he could use that speed. I even think he still has the speed for the most part. That's not what's missing.

PS Tarver also did not knock out Jones. He stopped him. People tend to forget this, the knockdown being so devastating.

Here's a link to my thoughts on the Tarver vs Jones trilogy, which I think I may have posted here before.


they were worried about bringing in good people to spar. you are talking about a guy who was a natural middle who cleared out at onepoint in the late ninties nearly the entire lt. heavy divsion. there were no sparring partners that was gonna make roy look bad

"The thing that Roy has that most great fighters do is the ability to look down the barrel and know when the guy is going to pull the trigger before he pulls it. If you're looking down the barrel and you can see what's coming, you don't get hit flush. Roy's amazing that way. Believe me, he's not going to be taking clean, flush shots from this guy."

  • Alton Merkerson