By Edward Chaykovsky
Former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver wants to prove the critics wrong. He's not very happy with the recent reports where some experts have labeled him as a 42-year-old boxer who is way past his best and way too inactive over the last few years. Since 2007, Tarver fought four times. On July 20 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Tarver challenges IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green.
''I am taking this fight seriously, this is one of the biggest fights of my career,'' the southpaw told The Sun-Herald. ''I'm at the other side now where people are doubting me and saying I shouldn't be fighting any more … show me a fighter who has dominated me? Outside of a bad loss to Bernard Hopkins it hasn't happened! I don't understand how they rank me but they've underestimated me all my career. That's why I fight with a bittersweet taste in my mouth."
Tarver says a lot of people will be shocked with his performance, and the final outcome, when everything is said and done. He plans to make Green miss and then make him pay with fast counter punches. Tarver wants Green to think twice about every punch he wants to throw.
"I've always been a superb defensive fighter, so whoever thinks I will be stationary target for Danny Green will get a surprise. 'I've never had a cut. I've never had a broken nose and the only reason I suffered an accidental broken jaw against Eric Harding was because I had a faulty mouthpiece in that fight. I've never been hurt or almost out on my feet. I'm squeaky clean. The hardest thing Danny Green is going to deal with is when he throws a punch he's taking a serious risk of being hit. He's fighting a masterful boxer, a guy who has been at the top of the trade, and a fighter who knows all the tricks," Tarver said.
Tarver still expects a very hard fight with the possibility of having to take some punishment. He wouldn't be surprised if this was a fight where he came off the canvas to claim the victory.
''I'm training for a war,'' he said. ''I know Danny Green is a proud fighter and he has a lot to fight for. He's also in his home country; it's going to be hard to take that title from him - he's not going to be willing to give it up. I'm going to have to put on one of my greatest performances to take that title. I'm going to have to take some bumps, I'm preparing for that, I might even have to get up off the canvas, but I won't be denied."