INDIANAPOLIS - Antonio Tarver had been honest about his first matchup with Eric Harding.
Simply put, Tarver said this week, he hadn't trained all that hard for their initial bout, when he lost a unanimous decision in June 2000.
Tarver made sure that wasn't a problem Saturday.
After doing little in the first three rounds, Tarver (20-1, 17 KOs) knocked Harding (21-2-1) senseless in the fourth round - sending him to the canvas once - and then knocked him out in the fifth round after referee Bill Paige stopped the fight 43 seconds into the round in the undercard feature on HBO.
Tarver, whose devastating left cross basically caused both fifth-round knock-downs, becomes the mandatory challenger for lightweight champion Roy Jones Jr.
In other undercard matches:
A FAMILY BUSINESS: A father trains his son, and within the next few years, the business relationship comes to an end. The son moves on to bigger fights and better trainers. The father becomes the spectator.
It happens all the time in boxing circles.
But Shane Mosley and his father, Jack, are different.
Jack has been in Shane's corner since the beginning of the younger Mosley's career. And he's endured for Shane's entire nine-year professional career.
To Shane, that's not unusual.
"Boxing brings that father-son bond together," Shane said this week. "A lot of people say it's not good for a father to train his son, but I think it's a plus."
LAST-SECOND CONTROVERSY: The Mosley and Forrest camps didn't see much of each other Friday, but the time the two sides spent together wasn't particularly pleasant.
After the two fighters successfully weighed in, they and their camps stood on the podium of the Indiana Convention Center trying on the boxing gloves they were to use for Saturday's fight.
Once Shane was finished, Jack took the gloves and left the building.
That, however, is illegal, and Forrest co-trainer Al Mitchell made sure everyone within earshot knew about it.
But Mitchell claimed he wasn't upset; he just wanted to make sure that particular set of gloves was disqualified.
"There's no penalty for that," Mitchell said. "All we asked of them was for them to change their gloves. We're not mad."
Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com
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