By Edward Chaykovsky
Former world champion Antonio 'Magic Man' Tarver (31-6-1, 22KOs), 47-years-old, is ready to travel over to batter Dillian Whyte (17-1, 14KOs) - hoping that such a victory will earn him a fight with IBF heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua.
Tarver recently called for a fight with Whyte, who made his return last month with an knockout win after undergoing months of rehab for shoulder surgery.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Whyte responded: "If he wants it, call Eddie Hearn. I'd love to fight these guys. I believe that in every fighter's career on the road to be great and a world champion, you have to fight at least one legend from the era before you and Tarver was a great champion. So for me to get his name on my record would be excellent."
"I think he thinks Dillian Whyte is a bit inexperienced and he can get in there and 'old man' me out of the fight but listen: I'll smash him to pieces.
"The world title fights are there but I'm focused on myself. I'm about three or four fights away. This year is about me rehabilitating myself and working on my conditioning. It's improving. Next year, I definitely want a world title fight - 100 percent."
Tarver has been out of the ring since last August's split draw with Steve Cunningham. Following that fight, it was revealed that Tarver had tested positive for a banned substance and he's been on the shelf since while attempting to secure a major fight.
While Tarver denies that he took any banned substance in training for Cunningham, it was his second failed test in three years. Following a cruiserweight fight with Lateef Kayode in June 2012, Tarver tested positive for the anabolic steroid drostanolone. The outcome, also a draw, was changed to a no-decision and Tarver was suspended for a year.
Tarver told Sky Sports: "I heard his interview. I have a lot of respect for Dillian Whyte. He found a great fight against Anthony Joshua, who's sitting on the top of the division and obviously Dillian feels confident in himself and his ability. I think the fight makes sense for me.
"I'll come over to the UK and let everybody know that I'm serious business about what I say and what I plan on accomplishing in the next year, and that's to become the oldest man to win the heavyweight world championship. If I did that, I'd surpass the great George Foreman. If I won the title today, I'd surpass George by two years and that's why I get up in the morning. I want to come to the UK, shut Dillian Whyte down and get one step closer to Anthony Joshua."
"It's the craziest thing. I'm getting old and I can't deny it but for some reason I'm not ageing. I still have my speed, timing, eyes and reflexes intact. You've never seen me outclassed, hurt or cut in a fight. I'm here and I'm still fresh. I can't explain it. It's not up to me to explain it. Talk to the man above. I'm just here living the dream."
"I need a rebirth and a new beginning. I'm trying to write the final chapter of my illustrious career and there's no better place to do that than the UK right now. When you look at my resume and everything I've achieved in and out of the ring, it's the perfect fit to come over there and see if I still have what it takes to compete at the highest of levels."