Coming off a two-year layoff and defeating David Telesco at Mohegan Sun Area Friday night for the vacant USBA light heavyweight championship, heavyweight contender Eric Harding said he's ready to even the score against the men who have defeated him. "I want redemption against (Roy) Jones, (Glen) Johnson and (Antonio) Tarver," said Harding. "Whoever wants me first, I'm, not hard to find." But when initially asked if he would like to face Johnson, who has wins over Jones and Tarver, next, Harding said, "If Roy Jones comes back, we want him."
Harding lost a decision to Johnson at Jimmy's Bronx Cafe in May 2003 and in September 2000, was forced to quit on his stool after suffering a torn left biceps after 10 rounds with Jones in New Orleans, LA. Prior to the injury, Harding was giving Jones a good fight.
Harding's manager, Roger Levitt, said he has been speaking with HBO about a possible Jones-Harding rematch
"They'll take that fight," said Levitt, who said Jones is welcome to face Harding for a possible "warm-up bout" with Tarver. Levitt said he has also been in discussions with representatives of Square Ring, Jones' promotional company but can't talk about the details of what has been talked about.
Harding, who hails from Hartford, CT, has only lost to the very best at light heavyweight, Roy Jones and the only two men to defeat him (Montell Griffin's "victory" over Jones was a disqualification win). Harding beat Griffin for the NABF light heavyweight title in November 1998, when the only blemish on Griffin?s record at the time was a first-round knockout rematch loss to Jones.
Harding boxed his way to victory over Telesco Friday night, proving he still retains the skills that made him a worthy world title challenger against a prime Roy Jones.
"I'm back," said Harding. Levitt said Harding looked pretty darned good considering he hadn?t fought in nearly two years. "Remember, tires have wear. He's had two years less wear and tear than any of these other light heavyweights."
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