Former Light-Heavyweight World Champion Antonio Tarver has named his top three fighters on the planet, with two men battling it out for third spot in his opinion, each missing a few pieces of the puzzle to put them into the conversation of becoming pound-for-pound number one.
After winning the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics, Tarver turned professional in 1997 and defeated Montell Griffin to become the unified world champion six years later.
Winning 2-1 in a famous trilogy with the legendary Roy Jones Jr during the 2000s and defeating Glen Johnson, ‘The Magic Man’ established himself as one of the greatest 175lbers of the era, before hanging up the gloves in 2015, following a draw with Steve Cunningham.
In an interview on ‘The Porter Way’ Podcast, Tarver offered his evaluation of the modern era, naming his top three fighters, with two men joint in third position.
“Terence [Crawford], I think. Abdul, formally known as ‘Tank’ [Gervonta Davis]. Then, whoever really finds it first between Haney and Shakur [Stevenson], they could possibly get it all right and really be the best of the remaining crop, you feel me? But, they are missing some pieces right now.”
“I think that he [Shakur] has just got to believe in himself, believe in his style and believe in what makes him him. Where is his counter-punching ability? Where is the counter-punching at? In order to couner-punch you have got to make a guy miss and then you have got to be in position to make him pay. Make these guys miss, they have got two hands and they can only throw one at a time, think about that, you have got to simplify this stuff.”
It seems that Haney’s next fight will be WBC Mandatory Challenger, Sandor Martin, after he signed with Top Rank, as Haney seeks to establish himself as the best fighter on the planet, and secure either unification bouts at super-lightweight or title shots at welterweight later in the year.