Exclusive: Antonio Tarver wants David Haye clash on May 21
Former world champion Antonio Tarver has informed WBN that he would be willing to step up and face David Haye as he plots his course to a heavyweight title chance.
The 47 year-old is allowed to fight again after serving a six-month banned he vehemently denied and is ready to offer Haye a high-profile option when the Briton makes his second comeback appearance in London on May 21.
“I’m willing and ready to show the world where I’m at by facing David Haye in his back yard this May,” Tarver exclusively told World Boxing News.
“If he wants a real fight to show the boxing world exactly where he’s at, then he needs to beat me. He could pretty much write his own check if he is able to do so, but when I beat him I’m going to be able to do the same thing.
“We all saw his last fight, so if he wants another wipeout or a showcase fight, then Haye will let them overpay Shannon Briggs as he’s perfect for that type of fight.”
Tarver continued: “Even At 47 I’m still willing to prove that even today I’m amongst the best heavy’s and the most dangerous fighter out there.
“I’ve liked this fight for a long time and he finally acknowledged me about signing a petition on Ali to get knighted in England. It had nothing to do with fighting each other, but The O2 Arena deserves to see him in a real fight with a credible name and face someone with championship pedigree, and he knows that. That’s what I bring to the table.”
Asked about the possibility of retirement following his disappointment over a recent fine and suspension, ‘The Magic Man’ was adamant boxing hasn’t seen the last of him – Haye or not.
“I’m good and like I said I only want big fights to finish off my career. I’m 47 and still fighting at championship level. It’s the biggest story never told.
“You know how many great champions from yesterday wish they had a little bit of what I got to be able to still compete and win at my age? There’s a reason I’ve outlasted them all and the game of boxing hasn’t come close to retiring me. Even if it takes to 50 years old for ‘them’ to recognize my greatness then so be it. I’m not going anywhere until the ‘game’ retires me.
“In all my years of boxing I’ve never been seriously rocked by a punch, amateur or pro. I’ve never been cut and never been on my back, so I don’t know why people feel I must be crazy to think I can win the heavyweight title.
“Until one of these champions or David Haye beat me, I’m going to be the next heavyweight champion and with all these belts out there around these nondescript champions I should get a shot by default,” he added.