Antonio Tarver: "I refuse to put Calzaghe on a pedestal, I'll leave that for Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins!"

By G. Leon


Antonio Tarver: "I refuse to put Calzaghe on a pedestal, I'll leave that for Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins!"

GL: We're just days away from your IBO title defense against Danny Santiago on Showtime Championship Boxing. How are you feeling and what can we expect to see from you on Saturday night? "I'm feeling great and I'm just real thrilled and happy that it's our time again. It's my time to get out there and shine in front of the masses. It's my night, I'm not competing with HBO or another PPV or another like that, so we've got all of the attention of the boxing fans and the purists and I'm ready to put it all on display and I'm very happy about that. I've been going against other shows for like the last two years and I'm thrilled to death that it's my night, me and Vernon and we're both going to peform. I'm going to show people why they call me The Magic Man."

GL: It's been quite some time since you've scored a stoppage, do you feel a knockout coming?

Antonio Tarver: "I think I feel a knockout coming. I've been fighting the upper echelon of the weight division. I've knocked out everybody I should have knocked out and some people they thought I couldn't knock out. I never go into a fight looking for the knockout. I'm conditioned right now to fight for every second of every round. I'm going to fight aggressively, I'm going to be letting my hands go and dressed down in defense. Anytime I sit down on my punches good things happen."

GL: Santiago was a late replacement to Danny Green, have you gotten to know Santiago at all?

AT: "No, but I have the experience in this fight. With my amatuer background and professional experience that I've had I come into this fight with all of the experience in the world. And that's against a lot of fighters, when you look at the top very few fighters can say they've walked the path I have and have the kind of experience I do."

GL: This is your first fight at Foxwoods since you first became light heavyweight champion, how do you feel about returning there?

AT: "I'm very thrilled that they're opening their arms to us and putting this fight on Showtime Championship Boxing. They've always received me well, there's very knowledgeable boxing fans out there in the Connecticut area. I feel we're going to have a packed house and put on an aggressive display of tremendous boxing. I'm looking to have one of my better nights, I'm looking to shine."

GL: Have you received the necessary apology from Chad Dawson's manager that could enable Chad to get a fight with you in April?

AT: "Well they've been very quiet and I've been really focused. I go on Boxingtalk every now and again to stay abreast on what's going on in the boxing world, but I'm very rarely reading the newspapers or the other internets. But I have options and I'm glad that I have options that other fighters don't. Once we get by Danny Santiago we're looking to come right back in April, the middle of the summer with a major PPV and then closing out the year with another major PPV. That's the track that I'm on and if they want to get on my track then they know what they've got to do."

GL: Did you catch the Calzaghe-Kessler fight?

AT: "I did see that fight. It was a good fight. Both guys came and did what they had to do. Calzaghe's energy and his workman like effort carried him through the fight. Kessler was a frontrunner, but once he couldn't hurt him with the big punch he was limited with the things he could do and as a result of that Calzaghe came away with a very impressive victory that keeps on top of my hitlist."

GL: If you look like a beast on Saturday night, would a fight with Calzaghe supercede all others?

AT: "Nah. We're going to put Calzaghe on that pedestal. I'm going to leave that for Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins. Don't shit supercede what I got to do. He ain't going nowhere and he's going to be right there. I'm on my own schedule and time and I'm looking to do a major PPV. If he's available at that time and the fight makes sense, then we'll do it. But those guys ain't going nowhere and I'm putting the world on notice that I'm not going nowhere.

"If he's ready to make the fight, we're going to be the best two fighters available and we're going to make the super fight. Right now I'm looking to put another footnote behind my name and let these people know that I'm the best light heavyweight in the world. One bad night could never ruin that. I'm back and I'm back with a vengeance. I'm looking to seek and destroy everything that steps in there with me. I know that I'm getting better and I'm going to show the world that they haven't seen anything yet. I'm here and I'm here to stay."

GL: Closing thoughts?

AT: "Don't miss it. Showtime 9PM sharp. We've got a great triple-header. Myself, Vernon Forrest and Nonito Donaire are going to put on a great show. I'd like to thank Showtime and all of their subscribers for tuning in and if you don't have Showtime I hear you can get it on Direct-TV. That's what it is baby and we're happy to be back right here on Boxingtalk, the number one source of boxing information internet style it's coming to you live."


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