Johnson-Tarver II makes Memphis center of boxing world this weekend!

By Wyatt Johnston


Johnson-Tarver II makes Memphis center of boxing world this weekend!

In addition to the Glen Johnson-Antonio Tarver light heavyweight bout and the Ike Quartey-Verno Phillips junior middleweight bout to be shown on HBO this Saturday, there will be some interesting off-television bouts at the FedEx Forum in Memhpis, Teneessee. Boxingtalk’s #13 lightweight, Lavka Sim, 19-4-1, will face Shawn Simmons, 26-13-1; Ann Wolfe, 19-1, who is being avoided by Laila Ali, will face Marsha Valley, 10-10-4, in a possible tune-up for a bout against a man; popular heavyweight Vinny Maddalone, 23-2, will look to pad his record against Dennis McKinney, 24-31-2. And three top prospects, Olympian Andre Ward and Lamont and Anthony Peterson will appear in six rounders. Read on for a preview of this weekend’s bouts.

This Saturday the rematch between Antonio "The Magic Man" Tarver (22-3, 18 KOs) and Glen "The Road Warrior" Johnson (42-9-2, 28 KOs) will take place in Memphis, Tennessee at the Fedex Forum.  Their first fight took place last December with Johnson winning by decision to become the light heavyweight champion of the world.  Tarver has vowed to get revenge and continue with
his perfect record in rematches, which stands at 2-0 with knockouts of the men who gave him his first two losses, Eric Harding and Roy Jones Jr.  The first Johnson-Tarver fight was very close and some feel it could have gone to Tarver. Many expected a much dominating performance from Tarver, and
perhaps the closeness of the fight made Johnson's performance look better than it actually was, when in reality the majority of the rounds could easily have gone to Tarver. Many of Johnson's punches were not landing very cleanly as Tarver kept his guard up but Johnson was the busier fighter.

Whoever wins this fight will be in line for some big fights as middleweight world champion Bernard Hopkins has expressed interest in moving up to light heavyweight. Also, there is always a possible rematch with Jones for Johnson or a rubber match between Jones and Tarver should Tarver win this week.

On the undercard Ike Quartey (35-2-1 30 KOs) returns to the USA against the very tough Verno Phillips (38-9-1 20 KOs) in a ten-round fight. The last time most of us saw Quartey was when he was getting battered around the ring by a then undefeated Fernando Vargas back on April 15, 2000.  Since then Quartey has had one fight, earlier this year in Africa against a tune-up opponent.  This should be a very exciting fight as Phillips has been in many wars and Quartey, if he has anything left, definitely wont back down either.

With a good win Quartey will also be in line for some big fights in the middleweight division with maybe Winky Wright, or at 154 against IBF Champ Kassim Ouma.

Also in a non televised fight, Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward (3-0 1 KO) will be in action against Ben Aragon (4-2-1 4 KOs).  This will be Ward's fourth fight as a professional and if he gets a win, he has said he plans a homecoming fight in Oakland California sometime in August.