Tarver: Lebedev is Overrated, No Reason To Fight Him

By Phil D. Jay

IBO cruiserweight champion Antonio Tarver has flattened speculation of him taking on interim WBA title holder Denis Lebedev in the near future following reports of a potential bout in the UK against the southpaw.

The 42 year-old, who is still aiming to defend his title before the New Year, dismissed a bout with Lebedev, 32, after he dismantled an aged James Toney over twelve rounds on the back of a similar job on another faded American in Roy Jones Jr.

“His team are just really excited about the victory over a washed up James Toney and Roy Jones Jr,” Tarver explained to World Boxing News.

“I can understand their enthusiasm, but level heads will soon prevail and they'll come to their senses to realize that fighting me is a whole different ball game. “

The ‘Magic Man’ has been linked with a potential unification against WBO and WBA champions Marco Huck and Guillermo Jones as the other belt holders in the division are currently tied up in scheduled defences.

The two-weight world champion sees a bout with Lebedev as a step back at this point and knows he would be unlikely to gain any advantages from a contest with the European fighter, who fights mainly on home soil.

“Why would I be interested in fighting an ‘interim champion’ when I'll have the opportunity to fight any other champion to unify,” said Tarver.

“He has nothing on his resume, but two over-the-hill fighters and a loss to Marco Huck!

“What's really in it for me but another KO victory over some overrated European,” he added.

Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mr. Philadel on 11-09-2011

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;11389592]IBO cruiserweight champion Antonio Tarver has flattened speculation of him taking on interim WBA title holder Denis Lebedev in the near future following reports of a potential bout in the UK against the southpaw. [[URL=]Click Here To Read More[/URL]][/QUOTE] not…

Comment by MASTERFUL on 11-09-2011

Tarver is ducking Lebedev.

Comment by Spray_resistant on 11-09-2011

[QUOTE=teddycanyon;11389917]close fight that could have gone either way. Lebedev probably deserves a rematch, so how about Lebedev fights Huck, Tarver goes after Cunningham, and the winners can fight each other?[/QUOTE] It was not a close fight and no way Huck…

Comment by BostonGuy on 11-09-2011

[QUOTE=TheGreatA;11389629]It says he's in discussions with Marco Huck for a unification. I have to agree that unifying the division does more for his legacy than beating Lebedev at this point. If he wins, people will just say that Lebedev beat…

Comment by Silencers on 11-09-2011

I would be interested in this fight. Tarver better not think his win over Green makes him a major player in the division, Lebedev is a few levels above Green and would have knocked Green out too.

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