Exclusive Interview: Antonio Tarver Pt 3

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Antonio Tarver Pt 3

GL: Do you plan on getting another fight in before the end of the year? "Of course I do and I want to put everyone on alert of that. HBO, I'm ready. There's not going to be any going up to the high 190's, I'm going to maintain my weight, I'm going to stay focused and I'm going to show the world that I am a fighter to be reckoned with. I just want all the notoriety that comes with it. All of the hard work that I've done, I've really busted my butt and I know I deserve it now. Financially I cut my toe with this fight and I never made the money an issue. I saw this fight giving me something far more than just finances. I just knew once I took care of my business I would be back in this position that I am now, on top of the world."

GL: You were very upset that Glen Johnson was awarded fighter of the year following his questionable decision win over you in December. Do you feel vindicated in a way that you just defeated the fighter of the year?

Antonio Tarver: "To do it so convincingly was vindicating to me. But I thought they should have given Diego Corrales fighter of the year. His victories were big ones and I don't know how some people like you can give the guy fighter of the year when you thought I won the fight 115-113. That's water under the bridge though, Johnson got it. He got the knockout over Roy and he got a decision over me, so I could've been justified, but I told the world that he didnt' beat me the first time and I was going to shut him down the second time around. I wanted to knock him out, but that's only a testament to his will, I mean this guy is tough as nails. The people need to know that I'm getting better with age, and that's a scary thing Greg."

GL: Have you and HBO come to terms on a long term deal yet?

AT: "No, I'm not an exclusive fighter to HBO at this present time. But I did what I told them I would do and my manager (Al Haymon) assured me that we would revisit the situation we had in front of us prior to the first fight with Johnson. I think we're going to be looking to solidify my relationship with HBO in the near future."

GL: When Glen Johnson knocked out Roy Jones Jr. you said Roy should retire. Based on the fact that Jones is still the most lucrative light heavyweight fight out there for you, has your position changed any?

AT: "After giving it some serious thought, every man has to carry his own cross. They didn't stop Mike Tyson from fighting even though people felt he shouldn't be in the ring. Holyfield still wants to fight and who I am not to tell a man he can make a living. And I don't care, if it got his name on a contract and my name on top of it, I'm signing it! Roy Jones is dreaming again talking about he could beat me on his best day. He couldn't beat me on his worst day so what he needs to do is stay behind the microphone because it's the safest place for him to be."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

AT: "I'm going to give 110% of myself every time out now, and my fans are going to see me look better and better with each fight I take.  I felt I let my fans down in December and that's something that I guarantee you will never happen again! The Magic Show is just getting started so grab your seats and enjoy the ride."


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