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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 10:13 GMT
Tarver up for Calzaghe bout
Antonio Tarver v Roy Jones Jr
Tarver doubts that Roy Jones Jr will face him again
Antonio Tarver, the world's leading light-heavyweight, says he would relish the prospect of a fight with Joe Calzaghe, the No 1 super-middleweight.

Calzaghe has targeted a move to the higher division in 2004 and a 'superfight' with Tarver.

"Calzaghe's promoter called and I would be happy to take that fight if Calzaghe is ready to make his debut in America," Tarver told the Boxing Talk website.

"Soon you may be seeing Tarver against Calzaghe - it's Showtime baby!"

Tarver's reputation was enhanced after a controversial defeat last year to the great Roy Jones Jr.

I took Roy's heart when we last fought and I guarantee he will run from a rematch
Antonio Tarver on Roy Jones Jr
The loss left him without a belt, but the WBC is pushing for a rematch.

Tarver thinks Jones will back away from that fight, and also has doubts about undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins' desire to share a ring with him.

"I took Roy's heart when we last fought and I guarantee he will run from a rematch," said Tarver.

"(Hopkins) knows that he's in trouble fighting me at 175 lbs, that's why he's left himself an escape hatch in only wanting to fight me at 170."

Calzaghe faces Armenia's Mger Mkrtchyan in the 14th defence of his WBO super-middleweight title in Cardiff on 21 February, after which he has promised to make the step up to light-heavy.

His original plan was to challenge Julio Gonzalez for the WBO light-heavyweight title before possibly going after Tarver, but that plan was scuppered by Gonzalez's loss to Zsolt Erdei.

Tarver would be a very dangerous opponent for Calzaghe's first fight at the new weight, but it could create huge interest - especially if the WBC belt was on the line.





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