Five-time world champion Antonio Tarver (31-6, 22 KO’s) has always wanted to do something no one has ever done and prove his doubters wrong while doing it.
Since co-starring with Sylvester Stallone in the sixth installment of the Rocky series ‘Rocky Balboa’ in 2006, Tarver was inspired not only to continue his boxing career, but become world heavyweight champion.
In three fights at heavyweight, Tarver is undefeated with two knockouts. His most recent fight against Johnathan Banks last December was a true display of experience and skill.
Tarver timed Banks beautifully with counter left hands, knocked Banks down with a barrage of blows in the seventh, and forced referee Jack Reiss to stop the bout shortly after.
Beating a man 14 years his junior, the 46-year old Tarver executed a performance reminiscent to Bernard Hopkins’s one-sided victory over him during their light-heavyweight title bout in 2006, with the exception of the conclusive finish.
Speaking with Tarver earlier Thursday on what was a very heated media call with Steve Cunningham, he acknowledges that he is ranked No 9 by the WBA, but quite frankly, he doesn’t give a rip about the rankings. His goal is to face Wladimir Klitschko, who holds three of the four major title belts in the heavyweight division.
“I don’t care about the rankings. I want to face Wladimir Klitschko, that’s it,” Tarver said. “The rankings don’t matter. My name carries weight.”
Tarver will face Cunningham on August 14th on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike.
The former two-division world champion may get his shot, with Klitschko extending his contract with RTL German TV for five more fights.
Klitschko (64-3, 53 KO’s) takes on the undefeated Manchester native Tyson Fury (24-0, 18 KO’s) in his next defense on October 24th.
Tarver, in an earlier interview with Fight Hype, dismissed Fury’s chances.
“Come on, are you kidding me?” Tarver said. “I give him no chance in hell of beating Klitschko. They don’t say much because Klitschko isn’t the Klitschko of old. He’s a lot older than me in boxing years, a lot older. I am coming after those titles, period.”
Tarver reiterated those comments as a follow-up to his earlier response, again taking a jab at Fury.
“I don’t care about Tyson Fury, someone who hasn’t done shit in his entire career,” he added. “I’m going to be the world heavyweight champion.
First, he’s going to have to get past Steve Cunningham on August 14th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
If you’re interested in buying tickets, they are still available on Ticketmaster, with prices ranging from $74 to $154.