By Elisinio Castillo
As BoxingScene.com reported last week, 49-year-old former world champion Antonio Tarver (31-6-1, 22 KO) will make his return to the ring for the first time since 2015, when he takes on heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman on June 10 in California.
Tarver has been training hard with Cuban coach Orlando Cuellar in the Normandy Gym of Miami Beach.
"I've had long periods of inactivity, lost years. At my age, I think I have things to do, my career is incomplete. I want to go back to the ring to show people that I have what it takes. I'm in better shape. Never, in a way, during those times where I wasn't fighting did I allow my body to recover," Tarver told George Ebro.
Tarver believes there is more for him to accomplish in the sport, despite being at an age where most of his past opponents have already retired.
"I have that impulse to do more and more... always more. I won the cruiserweight title, I went to Australia to knock out Danny Green, I beat Roy Jones Jr. I think this sport has overlooked the greatest story ever told, my story , a story born out of nothing, I built myself, it hurts me to see how boxing has valued me and I've given my life to this sport, and I want to let you know that they have been wrong with me, that they have always been wrong about me. I'm a real champion," Tarver said.
Tarver is looking for the biggest challenges out there, and he wants to once again fight for a world title.
In the heavyweight division, four of the titles are owned by Anthony Joshua, with Deontay Wilder holding the remaining fifth belt.
"I still have that special magic, it's something I can not explain, I only train for the time of the fight, then that magic is triggered, I do not know what I'm going to do, but for some reason that magic is inside me. Nobody thought I was going to knock out Jonathon Banks, that I could fight Steve Cunningham, I want the bigger challenges, because on any given night I can beat anybody," Tarver said.
"There are big dreams, that's why I get up every day. I want to get the chance to fight for a world title, I do not care who is on the other side of the ring, it does not matter what the name is. This is my destiny, to be heavyweight world champion.''