By Phil D. Jay
Four-time world light-heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver is planning on losing a considerable amount of the bulk that saw him move up to heavyweight for the first time in October last year against Nagy Aguilera. The 42 year-old came in at 221lbs for his first bout at the top limit, looking flabby and slow as he laboured to a one-sided points win in Oklahoma.
The Floridian southpaw is now facing the tough task of shedding the excess weight he piled on for his heavyweight bout, in order to hit the 200lb or under cruiserweight limit and knows he faces a challenge to get back to the sort of shape that saw him be such a world-class operator at 175lbs for over ten years.
"It's going to be tough work but I'm not immune to tough work," Tarver told The West Australian.
"Everything I've had to accomplish in life has been tough. If it's not tough it's not worth it.
"At heavyweight, I didn't even have to run that much. I'm going to have to put in the work in order to be the best 200 pounds (90.7kg) I can be.”
Tarver had looked a shadow of his former self in moving up the two weight divisions last year and with time ticking for the aging former champion, it remains to be seen if he can successfully drain down to the 200lb limit and take on a live challenger like two-weight world champion Green, 38.
"Right now we are going to lean down and you are going to see the best Antonio Tarver July 20th," he said.
"I'm going to be lean, mean and I'm going to be a fighting machine. If I come here in great shape and I'm strong, I'm going to give Danny Green nightmares.
"I don't care what weight we fight at,” added Tarver.
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net