- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Cruiserweight Lateef Kayode announced that he is moving up to heavyweight.
"Kayode is a heavy-handed puncher who can easily bring his power up to the heavyweight division,” promoter Gary Shaw said. “Right now my matchmaker, John Beninati, is looking at potential opponents and we are confident Lateef will be successful moving up in weight.”
The 29-year-old Kayode (18-0, 14 KOs), a native of Nigeria living in Los Angeles, only fought once in 2012. If you saw it, you’ll remember it because of how terrible the Showtime main event was. If you didn’t see it, count yourself lucky. Kayode and former light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver fought to a miserable 12-round draw in a June cruiserweight bout at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. However, the result was later changed to a no decision after Tarver tested positive for a steroid in a California State Athletic Commission urine test.
"We made a lot of headway campaigning as a cruiserweight,” said Steve Feder, Kayode's manager. “Ultimately our options since the Tarver debacle have diminished. At this point, the heavyweight division, which we fought our first nine fights in, seems to be calling. Lateef is in the gym and feels very strong at his new weight.”
Feder said Kayode is expected to fight in February.