Antonio Tarver Interview:''Yes I can take his punch"

By
TysonTalk

Published: November 14, 2005

Source: BoxingTalk.com

By G. Leon

In his latest interview undisputed lightheavyweight champion Antonia Tarver has immediately answered to Mike Tyson:

GL: Mike said he wants to bring Jeff Fenech back in to train him, he also said he’s going to be throwing hydrogen bombs at you…

Antonio Tarver: (cutting in) “If he’s throwing hydrogen bombs it’s going to be world war III because I’m shooting nuclear missiles. And as far as Jeff Fenech is concerned I like Buddy McGirt over Jeff Fenech in the ring, in the corner and in a street fight. I’d take Buddy any day of the week. I believe this fight could be a huge PPV success. Mike Tyson has been fighting giants for his whole career, killers. I’m not saying I’m not no killer, but I’m not no giant. I’m coming up from light heavyweight all the way to heavyweight. Can I hurt Mike Tyson with my power? Will I bring my punch with me to the the heavyweight division? Can I take a heavyweight punch? All of these things have yet to be determined and that’s what makes this fight interesting. There’s a lot of questions are going to be answered?

More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).GL:
You called Mike Tyson out and after reading his recent exclusive
interview with Boxingtalk it’s clear he wants to fight you to. Can you
give us some thoughts on Tyson’s remarks? “
It seems obvious to
me that I got under his skin pretty deep because he had some choice
words. As the champion that I am and the man that I am, I believe it’s
my duty to deal with this. I mentioned Mike Tyson for one reason only,
I think he’s the biggest name out there right now. Even though he
hasn’t had the success he’s accustomed to having, I look at this as a
great challenge and a very tough fight for my first at heavyweight.
It’s a good test for me. I still feel Mike Tyson could beat anybody if
he’s focused and in the type of condition he has to be in. But due to
his lifestyle as late he lost that focus and people got wins over him
that I truly feel couldn’t carry his jock-strap. But I’m looking
forward to making my transition to the heavyweight division and I want
to do it with a splash. I think Mike Tyson gives me that opportunity to
show the world that not only am I serious about moving to heavyweight,
I’m serious about ruling the heavyweight division.

“This is a
real tester to show if I belong in the heavyweight division anyway. For
the first three or four rounds it’s going to be a classic. I know he’s
going to come in there looking to take my head off, but I’m just here
to let him know, in order to get some ass, you’ve got to bring some
ass. And I ain’t never run away from a fight and I ain’t never picked a
fight that I couldn’t win. I just want the world to know that if all
goes well, they could look forward to seeing Tarver-Tyson in the near
future.”

GL: Mike said he wants to bring Jeff Fenech
back in to train him, he also said he’s going to be throwing hydrogen
bombs at you…

Antonio Tarver: (cutting in) “If he’s
throwing hydrogen bombs it’s going to be world war III because I’m
shooting nuclear missiles. And as far as Jeff Fenech is concerned I
like Buddy McGirt over Jeff Fenech in the ring, in the corner and in a
street fight. I’d take Buddy any day of the week. I believe this fight
could be a huge PPV success. Mike Tyson has been fighting giants for
his whole career, killers. I’m not saying I’m not no killer, but I’m
not no giant. I’m coming up from light heavyweight all the way to
heavyweight. Can I hurt Mike Tyson with my power? Will I bring my punch
with me to the the heavyweight division? Can I take a heavyweight
punch? All of these things have yet to be determined and that’s what
makes this fight interesting. There’s a lot of questions are going to
be answered?

GL: Can you take his punch? That sounded like a good question to me.

AT:
“Yes I can take his punch. Maybe the question should be, will he be
able to hit me with his punch. I don’t go into any fight looking to get
caught with shots, if somebody hits me it’s by mere accident. I’m
trying to avoid all his punches and deliver mine. The name of the game
is hitting and not being hit, but if it comes down to it, I could take
his punch. And at some point I’m going to have to if I want to secure
his victory.”

GL: When are you hoping your manager Al
Haymon and promtoer Joe DeGuardia are able to speak with someone from
the Tyson camp to have the talks progress further than Boxingtalk.com’s
front page?

AT: “As soon as possible. I’m ready and I’m
serious about the fight. It’s obvious he’s interested in the fight. All
we need to do is sit down and make it happen so I could put the big
boys on notice. Heavyweight division here I come. People need to
understand my vision. I got three more fights in this order. Mike
Tyson, James Toney and for my final magic trick I’m going to bring the
jolly green giant Vitali Klitschko out of retirement and I’m going to
destroy him too. By the time I step away from the game people are going
to have no choice but to recognize me as one of the best.”

GL: If Mike dispatched of McBride or Williams early, would you still be this eager to fight him?

AT:
“Absolutely. I can’t compare myself to Williams or McBride. If the
Tyson fight comes to frutiion, I’m only going to be 210 pounds the
most. When has Mike Tyson ever fought someone 210? Mike has been hit by
some of the biggest punchers in the game. Can my power even put a dent
in his armour? That remains to be seen. But I’m willing to show the
world that not only that I belong at heavyweight, but I am also one of
the most underrated fighters in the history of the game.”

GL: Do you believe the risk of a Tyson fight should be considered a greater risk than Jones took when he fought John Ruiz?

AT:
“That goes without saying, Roy Jones didn’t take a risk. The first risk
Roy Jones Jr took was when he signed to fight Antonio Tarver. He didn’t
take no risk when he fought John Ruiz.”

GL: Do you think you can knock Tyson out?

AT:
“It depends. I’m not going to be training to knock him out. But the
longer the fight goes the riskier things get for me. I’m already
working with one of the best physical trainers in the game to stack
that muscle mass on and I’m looking at Mike Tyson and beyond.”

GL:
As much of a risk as would be taking by fighting a puncher like Tyson,
the fight could still be a win-win for you in the sense that even if
you lose, you can still come back down to light heavyweight.

AT:
“Like I said, this is a test for me.There would be no shame in losing
to the great Mike Tyson. A lot of people have tasted defeat in there
with Mike before me and if it happened there wouldn’t be no shame in
it. I’m not setting myself up for defeat. I’m trying to make something
major happen for my career. If things don’t go as planned I wouldn’t
feel ashamed in any way.”

GL: If you and Tyson promote
the fight cooperatively, how much better than the 405,000 homes your
third fight do you feel this fight would do?

AT:
“Anytime Tyson has his head and heart into anything, people are going
to want to see what Mike is going to do. That goes without saying. I
think all eyes would be on Tarver-Tyson. When you look at all the risks
their for me and Mike, I think it would sell. It’s an interesting fight
that a winner can’t be determined by looking at our records or our
tales of the tapes. It will be a major, major event because you’ve got
two of the best talkers in the game involved. When Mike Tyson talks
people listen.

GL: Earlier you said you feel you got
under his skin a bit. Should a Tyson fight get finalized would it be in
your best interest to continue to get under his skin?

AT:
“I think this is a fight that sells itself, but I’m going to say what
I’m going to say regardless of what Mike or anyone else thinks. I’m
going to say what needs to be said to make sure people understand my
vision. I’m going to shy away or back down from him at all. He doesn’t
intimidate me in the least. I stepped up and called his name. He didn’t
come looking for me, I came looking for him. But at the end of the day,
I’m here to tell you that I’m going to continue to make all of my
opponents disappear. They might hate me, but they’re going to learn to
love me.

“I see where Mike is calling himself a tyrannical
titan, you know after I first knocked Roy Jones Jr out, I was calling
Mike Tyson the tinman. Apparently he followed the yellow brick road all
the way to Brazil, he saw the wizard and now found the heart to step up
to the plate and accept my challenge.”