American veteran Antonio Tarver turned back the years and turned out the lights on Danny Green, taking away the Australian’s IBO cruiserweight boxing title with a ninth-round stoppage at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Wednesday.
Tarver 42, added the title to his four light-heavyweight titles.
The savvy American showed all the skill and nous accumulated during a distinguished career, and he was leading 88-84 on all three judges’ cards when the bout was stopped.
He said there was a rematch option in the contract that he would fulfil if the Australian exercised the clause.
“It’s up to them, but I’m the champ now and it’s going to have to be on my terms and we can do it in America,” Tarver said.
“Danny Green is worthy of a rematch.
“He’s been a champion for a long time and if he’s ready for that and can go back to the drawing board, we can do it again.”
Tarver wouldn’t say whether Green should fight on, but he said that boxers were never the same after fighting him.
Tarver knocked Green down in the second and pummelled him again in the ninth.
Green, clearly dazed, wobbled around the ring putting an arm around Tarver.
Green’s corner had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Apart from a strong seventh round, Green was on the back foot for most of the fight.
He was wobbled twice in the first and would have been knocked down on one of those occasions if the ropes hadn’t held him up.
There was no reprieve in the second as a cracking left sent him to the floor.
Southpaw Tarver used his jab to control the fight and Green frequently found himself on the ropes, unable to mount any sustained pressure.
Green apologised to the crowd after the fight.
“I fought a great fighter, I couldn’t do a thing right,” he said.
“Take nothing away from Antonio, he’s a great fighter.”
Tarver said that Green had hurt him twice, but he had been patient and had taken his time.
“I knew early on it seemed like he couldn’t hit me with the punch he wanted to,” Tarver said.
“I knew once my defence was locked in, it was going to be a long night for him.
“I stuck with my jab and I wanted to work off my jab, but most importantly I wanted to dig some shots downstairs.
“Every time he got close, that’s what I did.
“I let them go downstairs and it took a toll on him.”
Green’s record dropped to 31-4 and Tarver’s improved to 29-6.
by Buford Balony