Tarver’s heavyweight debut a success

Former 175-pound champion Antonio Tarver outpointed Nagy

Aguilera to win his heavyweight debut Friday night.

The 1996 Olympic bronze medalist had been working as an analyst

for Showtime before returning to the ring almost a year and a half

after his last fight, a loss to the younger and faster Chad


Tarver started slow, then started picking up momentum in the

latter rounds. Neither fighter scored a knockdown but each landed

solid blows.

Judges Duane Ford, Gary Ritter and David Sutherland scored the

fight 98-92 in favor of Tarver (28-6).

”With a 17 month layoff and since I am 41 years old, I would

give myself an A-plus,” Tarver said. ”I had a real guy fighting

me – a live guy. He wasn’t going to lay down. He took some

tremendous shots. Anybody with any less heart would have been

knocked out. I take my hat off to Nagy … he came to win.”

Aguilera dropped to 16-5 with his second straight loss.

”It wasn’t his fight tonight,” Tarver said. ”I think my

experience really paid off. We are still here. People doubted me

and people think I picked the wrong guy. But he was the right guy

for me. If I couldn’t beat Nagy, I didn’t deserve to look at any

type of challengers.”

In the co-feature, Shawn Porter of Akron, Ohio, won the NABF

welterweight championship by stopping Hector Munoz of Albuquerque,

N.M. Porter (17-0) dominated from the start, and Munoz’s corner

finally threw in the towel at 2:05 of the ninth round.

”This was just the 17th (fight) for me, so I am still learning

about the fight game,” Porter said. ”This was definitely a big

improvement from my last fight (a 10-round victory over Ray

Robinson in July).