The countdown begins. With just a month remaining, Antonio “The Magic Man” Tarver is putting in long hours at the gym in Florida before his July 20 IBO World Cruiserweight Championship showdown with Aussie hero Danny Green at the Entertainment Centre in Sydney, Australia.
“He’s a good fighter,” said Tarver said of Green. “He’s won multiple titles in different weight classes and he’s a very tough guy and he has a lot of power. I know he’ll be trying to knock me out – something that’s never been done before – and vice versa.
"I’m going to try to knock him out too, so I think with our personalities, it’s like two locomotives heading on one course. We’re looking to collide, and that’s the type of fight that people are going to see.”
Digging deep to score big wins is nothing new for longtime light heavyweight champion Tarver, who has issued defeats to Roy Jones Jr., Glen Johnson, Eric Harding, and Clinton Woods over the course of his stellar 14-year career.
But he admits that at 42, he has had to adjust his style.
“I know in the past I’ve been an elusive boxer/puncher, counterpuncher, but I’m 42 years old, so right now I feel like this: I’m too old to be running. I don’t have time to be running around the ring and all that.
"I’m going to stand my ground; I’m going to punch with him. I know I’m an accurate sharpshooter. I’m looking to break him down to the body, hurt him to the body and really bust him up.”
Tarver says he knows he’s going against the odds in several ways in this fight, but is more than ready for the task.
“I’m going to trust my defense, and if I get hit on the whiskers I’m going to trust my chin,” he continues. “I’ve got to open him up. I’m not going to be playing around. I mean, I’m going to his backyard and that puts me in a situation where, to me, it’s like I’ve got to do more.
"So, I’m coming to fight. Danny Green: Look out, Antonio Tarver is coming for your IBO World Championship, and he’s ready to show the world that age is nothing but a number.”
Tarver’s promoter, Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Productions, says this fight will be the opening of a new chapter in Tarver’s boxing story.
“Antonio had a hall-of-fame career as a counterpuncher,” he explains, “his reflexes and his speed were too much for even other world champions to deal with. But like all the great ones, he’s making adjustments as he gets older.
"He has such amazing defense and excellent power in both hands and he’s going to utilize them more while standing his ground from now on. What that means is even more excitement for the fans, and more punishing nights for his opponents.”
Tarver admits he’s looking to make an example out of Green.
“I’m commentating for Showtime and I have my own record label, but boxing is my passion. I still love the sport and I feel that on any given night, I can still beat the best cruiserweights in the world, so that’s what I’m going to prove, and Danny Green is in my way.”
Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com.au (+1300883622) and are priced at $1000 for VIP Ringside, $750 Platinum Ringside, $500 Gold Ringside, $350 Silver Ringside, $250 Bronze Ringside, $175 VIP, $135 Platinum, $95 Gold, $75 Silver and $55 Bronze.