Tonight at 9:00 pm EST on FOX Sports 1 (and 2am local time in the UK on BoxNation), the Golden Boy Live! series is back with a heavyweight special attraction in the main event, as 45-year-old Antonio Tarver will go at it as a heavyweight again, this time facing West Virginia club fighter Mike Sheppard in a 10-round bout.
Tarver (29-6, 20 KO) hasn't fought since June 2012, when he and Lateef Kayode went to a draw in a cruiserweight main event on Showtime. Tarver failed the post-fight drug test and was suspended for PED use in California, but now is back. The former light heavyweight king had some success as a cruiserweight, notably a win in Australia over Danny Green, but he looked sluggish and old when he fought at heavyweight in 2010 against Nagy Aguilera, and he's certainly gotten no younger.
Sheppard (21-15-1, 9 KO) is getting that movie opportunity, a local pug with one shot at knocking off a notable name. Sure, Tarver is all but irrelevant in the fight game today, but for Mike Sheppard, this is a huge chance. It's not that it would lead to a fight with Wladimir Klitschko or anything, it's just something he has a chance to do. It's the biggest fight he's ever had or ever will have, more likely than not.
On the undercard, Randy Caballero (19-0, 11 KO) will face Jessy Cruz (10-5-1, 4 KO) in a 10-round bantamweight showcase; newly-signed Golden Boy heavyweight Luis Ortiz (19-0, 16 KO) will take on Alex Gonzales (20-8, 10 KO), a Puerto Rican who last fought in October 2012 and wasn't exactly impressive; 2012 U.S. Olympic heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (7-0, 7 KO) faces Keith Barr (11-4, 3 KO), a late sub for the aforementioned Nagy Aguilera; and light heavyweight prospect Thomas Williams Jr (14-0, 10 KO) is up against veteran Yusaf Mack (31-6-2, 17 KO), who is coming off of back-to-back losses to Carl Froch and Cedric Agnew.
I only know for sure that Tarver-Sheppard and Caballero-Cruz are slated for the broadcast, but something else should get on. I'd guess Breazeale or Ortiz.