DENVER -- Sitting in my hotel room, I can't help but be impressed by the tape I'm watching of
He is fast. He is elusive. His punches come in bunches and they pack a wallop. Judging by the powerful shots being delivered by his opponent, Tarver appears to still have a granite chin.
Who is that opponent anyway? Wait...is that
No, the tape I'm watching is not a replay of one of Tarver's recent fights but rather a scene from
While Tarver is impressive in the ring in the film, he hasn't been impressive in real life in quite some time. Beginning with his loss to
But Tarver, like so many others before him, doesn't accept that. He blames the media, the critics for lampooning his career. "I don't listen to the naysayers," said Tarver. "I want to accomplish [what] I did before. I want them to choke on their words. I want them to suffer and come up for air when it's all said and done."
But Antonio, what did the media do?
It didn't tell you to take the Hopkins fight months after wrapping up filming for
"Everybody knew I was a shell of myself [in that fight], for whatever reason," said Tarver.
I can think of a reason --
The media didn't advise you to take the Muriqi bout, a dull majority decision in which you reclaimed the IBO light heavyweight title that you had lost to Hopkins. It didn't tell you to take more time out of your boxing schedule to film your role in the kid comedy
Tarver has to stop blaming the media for his reluctance to make boxing his number one priority. He has to hold himself accountable, beginning Saturday night in Connecticut when he defends his title against