Two-weight world title holder Antonio Tarver believes that his possible comeback to boxing following a ban for alleged use of steroids is being made more difficult as he seeks a return fight.
The 44 year-old, who has defeated the likes of Montell Griffin, Danny Green and Roy Jones Jr. in a stellar career, has not fought since June 2012 when retaining his IBO cruiserweight title against Lateef Kayode in Carson, California.
That draw with Kayode was eventually scratched to a no decision and the American was stripped of his belt for submitting a positive test in the aftermath, although Tarver believes he has served his punishment and now wants to arrange his next outing.
“Although I don’t believe fans are attempting to band me a cheat, I do feel it’s a unilateral attempt to block my return,” Tarver candidly told World Boxing News.
“I mean every boxing relationship I had ended the day my sentence was handed down.
“It also appears that other fighters present and past has been forgiven or excused for their positive test and I truly believe that in all the years no other fighter has suffered and lost more than me. My career and job as an analyst on the same network have had such a hard stance against me. Every fighter that has been found guilty of steroid use lately showcased on the same network. Double standards I’ll say without a doubt!
“I’ve said I’m ready to fight and I want Tomasz Adamek my the end of the year. I’ll see if this solid and creditable fighter take my challenge. Once I beat Adamek, I want David Haye, once I beat Haye, I want Wladimir Klitschko and if I stub my toe in any one of these fights I’ll retire. So Adamek, you got first shot at retiring me, but if I win I want Haye and when they see what happens in that fight. Everyone will then want to see can I pull of the hat-trick and as soon as Adamek signs the Magic show begins!”
Tarver has been constantly training in the hope of getting back between the ropes at any moment this year and revealed an approach to former foe Danny Green for a possible re-run of their 2011 clash, with the Aussie deciding to stand down from boxing, rather than accept the challenge.
“I’ve been in the gym since February and have tried to pursue Green for a rematch to no avail. I put a hit list out in June to every cruiserweight champion and again not even a bit of response,” said Tarver. “Now my attitude now is if I’m going to stick around I may as well try and capture the greatest trophy in sports – the heavyweight title.
“As I said, my current hit list Adamek, Haye, and Klitschko in that order and if I lose I’ll retire, but I want the opportunity to succeed or fail in the attempt to do something great,” he added.