By Edward Chaykovsky
British heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte (17-1, 14KOs) has fired back at former world champion Antonio 'Magic Man' Tarver (31-6-1, 22KOs), 47-years-old, who hopes a win over Whyte will lead to a title crack at 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.
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.
Whyte has warned Tarver not to overprice himself in the fight.
Whyte told Sky Sports: "I don't mind beating someone of his status and putting the name on my record. He's just got to make sure he doesn't price himself out of it. Be realistic, give Eddie Hearn a call and we can sort the fight out for September."
"If Tarver gets his license then we can do it. Why not? I'll fight anyone. I'm game. With my improved conditioning and all the other stuff I'm working on, I'll be ready for any heavyweight in the latter stages of this year. Antonio Tarver has had his time. He's a good fighter and I've got respect for him but if he thinks he can come into my hometown and beat me, he's having a laugh.
"He's an old man and I'll give him a heart attack in that ring with the pace I'd set. I don't think I've fought any southpaws before but left hooks, right hands and uppercuts are all shots for the southpaws. He's a former world champion with loads of experience. He's got that over me but I'm younger and hungrier than him. I believe I'll knock him out and if I don't, it will be a TKO because I'll set a very high tempo in the fight.
"He wants a payday and he knows that if he fights me at The O2 then he'll get some good money. He thinks he can use my inexperience against me but he stands no chance of doing that."