Showtime Boxing: Tarver vs Muriqi on June 9

20.04.07 - Poof! The “Magic Man” is back – and fighting on America’s No. 1 Boxing Network. One of boxing’s most recognizable and talented pound-for-pound fighters, the legendary Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver will make his highly anticipated return to the ring on Saturday, June 9, 2007, in the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. A former WBC, WBA and IBF light heavyweight champion, Tarver (24-4, 18 KOs) will fight for the first time in one year when he battles Elvir Muriqi (34-3, 21 KOs) for the vacant IBO 175-pound title on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast)..

Tarver vs. Muriqi is being promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and will take place at a site to be announced.

“The Magic Man is back,” Tarver said, “On June 9, I am going to make Muriqi disappear.”

Tarver will forever be remembered for his trilogy with Roy Jones Jr. He defeated the then-invincible Jones two out of three times, including a devastating second-round knockout in the second fight.

The popular, brash southpaw also made movie magic in Hollywood. He had a starring role as Mason “The Line” Dixon in the sixth installment of the popular movie series Rocky.

But now it is time for Tarver, who fought Rocky Balboa in reel life, to fight for real. For the last few months, he has been training with Buddy McGirt in Vero Beach, Fla.

“I want to fight and let people know I am back,” said Tarver, who dropped a decision to Bernard Hopkins in his last start on June 10, 2006. “I'm staying in shape. That's going to be the difference.”

Tarver is among today’s brightest stars in the sport. He has fought some of the most memorable bouts in recent history against some of the best fighters of his generation.

In the opening bout of Tarver’s scintillating series against Jones (Nov. 8, 2003) he lost a disputed 12-round majority decision. Tarver avenged the loss and cemented his legacy, when he brutally flattened Jones in the rematch (May 15, 2004). Tarver won a 12-round decision in their third encounter on Dec. 1, 2005.

“I am looking forward to fighting on SHOWTIME,” the six-foot-two-inch Tarver, 38, said. “I appreciate the opportunity to come back on the sport’s highest stage.”

Article posted on 21.04.2007

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