Antonio Tarver, Danny Green to fight
When former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver and Australian cruiserweight contender Danny Green could not come to terms to meet last fall, Tarver instead moved up to fight at heavyweight, where he turned in a shaky performance in a decision against Nagy Aguilera in October. Green, meanwhile outpointed American B.J. Flores in November.
But with Tarver's opportunities limited at heavyweight and Green vowing to return after a medical scare forced him to have his appendix and a large abscess removed earlier this year, the two reached agreement to fight each other.
They will meet July 20 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Australia, they announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Green (31-3, 27 KOs), who will defend his minor cruiserweight belt, has won 10 consecutive fights since a decision loss to countryman Anthony Mundine in a 2006 super middleweight title eliminator. Among Green's victims during his streak: Roy Jones Jr., whom he knocked out in the first round in December 2009.
Tarver (28-6, 19 KOs) and Jones share their own deep history. After losing a light heavyweight title fight to Jones in 2003, Tarver scored a massive upset by knocking Jones out in the second round in the immediate rematch in 2004. In the 2005 rubber match, Tarver dominated Jones en route a decision win.
"He is a future Hall of Famer. If I can defeat Antonio Tarver it's another massive feather in my cap," Green said during the announcement. "I think this is a much harder fight than Roy Jones. I see this as a harder challenge as far as height, reach and his awkwardness and power. He's a more powerful puncher than Roy Jones was."
Tarver, who is 42 and will be fighting at cruiserweight for the first time, will be fighting for only the second time since a clear decision loss to Chad Dawson in their May 2009 light heavyweight title rematch.
"I'm ready to show the people that I'm not a washed-up, over-the-hill fighter," said Tarver, who appeared at the news conference via satellite link from his hometown of Orlando, Fla. "If there was a time where I got knocked out and beat up in the ring, it would be time to hang them up. I see young fighters that have more wear and tear than I do. I preserve myself, I take care of myself.
"I think a lot of people underestimate Danny, but you can all rest assured that come July, I'm not only going to finish Danny Green, but I'm gonna put on a show that you won't forget," he said.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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