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Boxing champion Antonio Tarver steps in as Blackzilians striking coach, wants to create ‘exciting knockout punchers’

Esther Lin/Showtime

After reports surfaced of rifts within the Blackzilians MMA camp, which ultimately led to some fighters training on their own, and renowned striking coach Henri Hooft to leave the team to do his own thing, there is some good news in paradise.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, former WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO Light Heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver — who is also the current IBO cruiserweight champion and the interim WBA-NABA interim heavyweight champion — revealed that he is the new striking coach for the Blackzilians.

And one of his goals is to create mean fighting machines with real knockout power.

“It’s been a process in the making for some time, but Glen Robinson reached out to me three weeks ago, we sat down and we chopped it up. The next thing I know, I’m the head striking coach for the MMA Blackzilians. It’s exciting. I’m glad to be working with these guys and it shows me that there is still something there for me to make a big splash and impact on. I never though it would be in MMA, I thought it would be in the heavyweight division. But, it is what it is. Right now I am just following my dream and footsteps of doing what I know what I can do, and that’s help fighters. I’ve always seen myself in this position. I didn’t think it’d be in MMA, but in boxing, though it’s still the same thing, as I have a great opportunity to make a difference in these men’s lives and help them reach their goals of becoming champion and getting the success of their career. Not only showing them and teaching them the sweet science, but also just giving them confidence because I have been there, and I’ve done that at the highest level. When you look at a five-time champion, and some of the biggest nights in boxing, there are some things that these young fighters are not going to be aware unless they go through it and experience it. What I want to do is create some very exciting knockout punchers, that really know the skill and art of boxing. Once I incorporate that into their training in MMA, it automatically makes them a more complete, overall well-rounded fighter from the ground to standing up. I want to help the Blackzilians to become a more complete team, and a bunch of mean fighting machines.”

They don’t get more experienced than Antonio Tarver, as he has over 20 years of experience in the boxing world to go along with his aforementioned titles and plenty more accolades to his credit.

One of his biggest wins came against Roy Jones Jr., as Antonio became the first man to ever defeat him via knockout back in 2004. Roy’s first official defeat came via disqualification seven years prior.

Tarver has long been known as one of the best to ever lace them up, taking on some of the biggest names the sport has to offer such as Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones and Danny Green, just to name a few, winning titles in numerous weight classes, in the process.

Anyone expect Tarver to breathe new life into a struggling Blackzilians team, who is now without one of its heaviest hitters?

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