Seeking a different ending

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: December 2, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — Making it in the world of boxing is not easy. A fighter could fight as often as every Saturday of each month for a year and still struggle to make ends meet.

Just because a fighter appears on either HBO, SHOWTIME, or ESPN doesn’t make them famous either. Tarvis Simms (25-1-1, 11 KOs) is the identical twin brother of former WBA super welterweight champion, Travis Simms.

Tarvis understands just how dark, isolated, and frustrating it is to being a professional fighter.

Unless a fighter has either a great relationship with a known promoter that has the backing of a network-TV giant or can “sell tickets” locally like Rhode Island favorite Peter Manfredo, Jr., a boxer will face hard times getting quality fights that will get them paid.

Tarvis knows what it is like to be “put on the shelf” and tossed aside like last week’s leftovers. The 39 year-old, Norwalk, Connecticut native, has worked with every major promoter including Don King and Joe DeGuardia.

Tarvis has had some good days and plenty of bad days. Perhaps his luck will change for the better after signing an exclusive promotional pact with Kathy Duva’s Main Events.

“I think they are the premiere promoters in the game,” Tarvis said. “I’ve always dreamt of fighting for Main Events. I want to fight for them and become a world champion. It’s my dream to become a world champion. I want to make Kathy happy.”

Tarvis’ first bout under his new promotional management team will be on the undercard of Tomasz Adamek’s scheduled 10-round heavyweight bout with Vinny Maddalone on Thursday, December 9, from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“I want to train my ass off and be ready for whoever is in front of me,” Tarvis added. “I’ll fight anyone.” Perhaps the move to Main Events has reenergized a once-promising, turned stagnant career.

Tarvis, like his twin brother Travis, was once an unbeaten prospect and a very skillful fighter with good boxing technique. It didn’t matter how good Tarvis was as a boxer, his bad dealings with past promoters nearly ruined his career.

“It’s hard knowing you don’t have anything coming up,” Tarvis said. “It really stresses you out. You get to a point you get dressed.”

One promoter Tarvis discussed was Joe DeGuardia. He accused DeGuardia of robbing him out of thousands of dollars in purses. Tarvis didn’t believe that DeGuardia had his best interest at heart.

Tarvis even went as far as to blame DeGuardia as the reason why he had to foreclose on a mortgage property. Tarvis believes that DeGuardia wasn’t giving him fights and keeping him busy.

In fact, Tarvis has fought only seven times in nearly six years and due to his inactivity, he lost his top 10 position(s) in the WBA, WBC, and IBF rankings.

In his most recent bout more than on year ago in October 2009, Tarvis dropped a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision to Allan Green. Tarvis gambled and lost is unbeaten record he’s held since 1997 to become an opponent for Green.

“I wanted to prove myself by taking a fight out-of-shape against Allan Green in his hometown. I took that fight because; I needed the dough (money). Bills were piling up.”

Green eventually moved on to become a late entrant into the Super Six World Boxing Classic.

Tarvis will have an opportunity to resurrect his career at the Prudential Center when he meets 34 year-old, Maryland native, Willis Lockett (12-10-5, 5 KOs) in a scheduled 6-round middleweight bout.

“God is answering my prayers now,” Tarvis said. “I still have the ability and the energy to compete with the best in the world.

I’m even changing up my style to become more fan-friendly – banging it out. I believe now that I’m a complete fighter. Styles make fights.”

“I’m so comfortable I feel that I can do whatever I want in that ring.”