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Antonio Tarver wins cruiserweight title

7/20/2011 - Boxing

SYDNEY -- Antonio Tarver stopped defending champion Danny Green in the ninth round Wednesday to claim the IBO cruiserweight world boxing title.

The 42-year-old American was in control from the start at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and twice hurt the Australian Green in the first round. He knocked him down in the second. The referee stopped the fight following the ninth after a punishing round for Green, who was defending the IBO title for the fifth time.

The victorious Tarver said he would be open to a rematch.

"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 told the Australian Associated Press.

"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, who was fighting at cruiserweight for the first time, got into the ring for only the second time since a clear decision loss to Chad Dawson in their May 2009 light heavyweight title rematch.

Tarver, a four-time light heavyweight world champion, improved to 29-6 with 20 knockouts. Green fell to 31-4 (27 KOs) after his first defeat since 2006.

The 38-year-old Green had won 10 consecutive fights since a decision loss to countryman Anthony Mundine in a 2006 super middleweight title eliminator.

Green called Tarver a "great fighter" after his defeat but also apologized to his home-country crowd, holding back tears.

''I had a terrible night. I'm so gutted, I couldn't do it for you guys, I'm so sorry. Right now I just want to chill out, take stock and relax and get healthy," he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Information from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael and The Associated Press was used in this report.