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 worldboxingnews.net