Antonio Tarver has turned down a request to fight IBF Super Middleweight Champion Joe Calzaghe, stating that he has no interest in fighting him at the moment. It’s been reported that Tarver would like to wait until after Rocky VI, in which he makes his motion picture debut, is released in December before he makes any decisions on who he will fight next.
“I’ve been on the grind for five years and every fight has been a do-or-die situation,” Tarver said, reports the Tampa Tribune. “Guys like Calzaghe have gotten by with fighting D-level fighters, but Antonio Tarver has always had major expectations on him.”
Interesting choice of words considering the only big accomplishment Tarver has had so far in his career is two wins over an aging Roy Jones Jr. Then again, he is at least partly right about Calzaghe - his fight card is sorely lacking any top names.
Calzaghe’s promoter Frank Warren believes that Tarver is the one opponent who will put his client over the top.
“We’re out to prove Joe is the best fighter out there,” Warren told icWales, “and we can do that with a win over Tarver. We want to fight all the top Americans and beat them, but Tarver’s the guy we’d like first.”
A win over Tarver would certainly boost Calzaghe up the rankings. Seems like Warren has big plans for a fighter that he has hidden over in England for his entire career.
What’s weird about this whole situation is that Tarver previously said that he wanted to take on Calzaghe in the near future, however that was before the loss to Hopkins. Is Tarver really that down on his fighting ability at this point?