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Angry Tarver out to silence Woods

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News conference: Clinton Woods and Antonio Tarver

By Ben Dirs

Antonio Tarver has accused Clinton Woods of disrespect and vowed to knock the IBF light-heavyweight champion out when they meet in Tampa on 12 April.

Sheffield's Woods, 35, intimated earlier this week that America's Tarver, 39, was merely a tune-up for a fight with Wales' Joe Calzaghe.

"He said he's going to knock me out, that he's planning the Calzaghe fight," said former undisputed champion Tarver.

"He's gonna get knocked out on the 12th and learn how to respect me."

The two men came face to face at an ill-tempered news conference in London on Tuesday, and at one stage it looked as if they might come to blows.

And Tarver, who has twice beaten the great Roy Jones Jr and who appeared in Rocky VI alongside Sylvester Stallone, bristled at the suggestion that Woods was in the same class as himself.

As soon as I won the world title, Tarver was the one I wanted. I always hated him, but I can't stand the guy now

Clinton Woods
"Don't ever think you're in the same league as me. You're an ordinary fighter," Tarver taunted Woods, who suffered a sixth-round stoppage to Jones in 2002.

"I'm the best fighter in the world. Whatever belts these so-called champions are walking about with, they have those belts because I vacated them, that's the only reason.

"You're sitting next to the man who beat the man [Jones Jr], so how the hell do you think you're gonna knock me out? That's never been done before.

"You're an ordinary fighter - I'm an extraordinary fighter. You're not good enough to carry my bags. I'm knocking your ass out. You're sitting next to greatness.

"You ain't fast enough and you ain't got no punching power. You're going to be unrecognisable after the 12th - get ready to throw that towel in again.

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"You've never been in the ring with anybody as gifted and talented as me, not even Roy Jones."

Woods, who will be making the fifth defence of the IBF belt he claimed by beating Rico Hoye in 2005, said that Tarver's talk had made him even more determined to prevail in his first fight on American soil.

"I always hated him, but I can't stand the guy now," said Woods, who has 41 wins and three defeats from 45 professional encounters.

"As soon as I won the world title Tarver was the one I wanted. And on 12 April, he's gonna get it.

"When I fought Roy Jones in 2002 I was a different fighter, everybody knows that. I'm stronger and I've fought in a better class.

"He lost to old man Bernard Hopkins on points [in 2006] but I am going to knock him out and then my status as the best light-heavyweight in the world will be confirmed."

Woods's last fight was a 12-round decision over Julio Cesar Gonzalez in Sheffield last September.

Tarver's most recent fight ended in a routine win over Danny Santiago in December, but he took a break from action in 2006 to star alongside Stallone as Mason "The Line" Dixon in the final Rocky film.



see also
Woods arrives in the big time
06 Feb 08 |  Sport Homepage
Woods full of praise for Witter
26 Sep 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe turns down Woods offer
07 Apr 06 |  Boxing
Woods wants recognition
04 Sep 06 |  Boxing
Woods win wrecks Calzaghe plans
03 Sep 06 |  Boxing


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