Monday, 03 March 2014 22:34

'Rocky Balboa' star jailed?

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Five time world boxing champion Antonio Tarver (29-6 20 KOs) was arrested outside of Tampa over the weekend and is being held without bond.
Tarver was pulled over for a license plate violation when it was discovered there was a warrant for his arrest in Nevada.

The details are a bit fuzzy but it's believed the warrant was filed last summer in Clark County, NV citing insufficient check and theft charges.

Allegedly, Tarver also failed to pay $200,000 in gambling debt to the Wynn Las Vegas compliments of a 2012 gambling binge, according to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports.

Antonio Tarver is one of the most decorated amateurs in the history of USA boxing and the first American amateur to win the Pan American Games, the USA Championship, and the World Championship in the same year.

A three-time world light heavyweight champion and former cruiserweight king in the pro ranks, Tarver gained acclaim in the professional boxing community when he captured the vacant WBC and IBF titles with a unanimous decision over Montell Griffin. 

After losing the WBC Light Heavyweight title to Roy Jones via a tight majority decision in 2003, Tarver became a mainstream celebrity of sorts following his one-punch, second round knockout of the fight legend in their rematch the following year.


Tarver's charisma and newfound stardom gained him the role of Mason 'The Line' Dixon, Rocky's boastful opponent in the sixth Rocky series installment, Rocky Balboa (2006). Dixon is portrayed as the current undisputed heavyweight champion of the world who is not shown the same respect as Rocky was when he was the heavyweight champion.


stallone-antonio-tarver

His role - in what became a very successful film - was supposed to enhance Tarver's already-rising stock but his career has nose-dived ever since.


In Summer 2006, he was beaten-up by Bernard Hopkins in his return bout, post filming, and subsequently lost back-to-back fights to Chad Dawson in 2008 and 2009.

And after Tarver was busted for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in 2012, he not only lost his fringe IBO Cruiserweight title, he was banned from fighting for a year and the cable network Showtime banished him from its broadcast team and subsequently hired Paul Malignaggi as his replacement.

Now 45, Tarver, who has earned millions in his career, appears to be in dire straits.

Will we ever see Tarver in the ring again in a meaningful fight? 

The fighter dubbed 'Magic Man' is a youthful 45.  If he can get himself back together, he has a few more high-profile fights left. However, career-wise, he may have already squandered a great talent.
 

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