Tarver in 2011
|Real name||Antonio Deon Tarver|
|Nickname(s)||The Magic Man|
|Rated at||Light heavyweight
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
November 21, 1968 |
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
|Wins by KO||22|
As an amateur, Tarver won a bronze medal while representing the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, eventually losing to Vassiliy Jirov, whom he had previously defeated in a match at the 1995 World Amateur Boxing Championships. He also captured the gold medal at the 1995 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Berlin, just two months after having triumphed by also winning gold at the Pan American Games in Mar del Plata; Tarver also won gold at the United States national amateur boxing championships in 1995. Tarver is the first (and to date, only) fighter to have ever won gold in the Pan Am Games, World Amateur Championship, and US National championship all in the same year.
- 1 Professional career
- 2 Failed drug test
- 3 Media
- 4 Amateur career
- 5 Professional boxing record
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Tarver won his first 16 fights,14 by knockout, before stepping up his level of competition. After taking most of his first 16 fights in either his native Florida or at the "Blue Horizon", for his 11th fight he met veteran Rocky Gannon in Chester, West Virginia, on August 30, 1998. Tarver knocked out Gannon in the second round.
On February 29, 2000, Tarver scored a knockout against Ernest M-16 Mateen in Las Vegas. Later that year, Tarver suffered his first loss when he was knocked down in the 11th round by Eric Harding, en route to a unanimous decision on June 23 in Biloxi, Mississippi. This was an IBF title elimination bout, where the winner would face Roy Jones Jr.
In 2002, Tarver defeated former two-weight world champion Reggie Johnson by split decision to win the NABF & USBA light-heavyweight titles, and a guaranteed title shot at Roy Jones. He then scored a fifth round stoppage over Harding in a rematch that was on the undercard of the rematch between Shane Mosely and Vernon Forrest. Tarver was trailing on the scorecards until the 4th round, when he sent Harding to the canvas with a barrage of unanswered power shots; Harding was also floored twice in the 5th round, leading to the stoppage.
Winning the light-heavyweight titles
On April 26, 2003, Tarver received his first world title shot, when he faced former WBC champion Montel Griffin for the WBC & IBF light-heavyweight titles that had been vacated by Roy Jones Jr., who had gone on to defeat John Ruiz for the WBA heavyweight title the previous month. After dropping Griffin in the first and last rounds, Tarver was crowned champion after winning a unanimous decision.
Tarver vs Jones I & II
Next, rather than remain at heavyweight, Jones planned to return to light-heavyweight and regain his belts. Given little chance of winning, Tarver took a weight-drained Jones the distance and lost the fight and WBC title by a majority decision on November 8, 2003, in Las Vegas (Tarver had relinquished the IBF title a few days earlier in anticipation of being unable to make a mandatory defense.)
In a rematch on May 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Tarver upset the odds to regain the WBC title and win the "WBA Super" title by knocking Jones out in the second round. In fifty previous fights, Jones had only been sent to the floor once, leaving most observers shocked at the result.
Interestingly, eight days before the match, Tarver filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Assuming creditors accepted his proposed debt repayment plan before the fight, all Tarver's previous debts would have been discharged, and the $2 million purse from the win would have been his, free and clear. (ESPN.com news services, May 17, 2004) (The Law of Debtors and Creditors, Warren and Westbrook, p. 421, which quotes the ESPN article.)
Rise in popularity
Tarver became a mainstream celebrity after his rematch win over Jones, making appearances at late-night shows, appearing on the cover of both Ring and KO Magazine, being spotted by television cameras as a spectator at various boxing fights, and co-hosting ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" for one telecast.
Tarver vs Johnson I & II
Later in 2004, the WBC decided to strip Tarver of the world title after he decided against fighting their mandatory challenger, instead choosing to fight IBF title holder Glencoffe Johnson December 18 in Temecula, California; Tarver had already been removed as Super Champion by the WBA in their July rankings. Interestingly, Johnson himself had been stripped of his IBF title before the bout with Tarver for not fighting his mandatory challenger. Both fighters were celebrated for their decision to fight each other rather than bow to the pressure from what has become known as "The Alphabet Soup" sanctioning bodies (WBC, WBA, WBO, and IBF). Instead, Tarver and Johnson boxed each other.
Tarver, considered a favorite to win the fight, suffered an upset loss to Johnson by way of a split decision in a fight that he did not appear to be in top shape for. Tarver avenged the loss six months later with a unanimous decision, out-boxing and out-working the aggressive Johnson at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee to regain The Ring championship.
Rubber match against Jones
In their third fight, Tarver won a unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. on October 1, 2005 in Tampa, Florida, almost knocking Jones down in the 11th round but also finding himself in trouble at times during the fight.
Tarver vs Hopkins
On June 10, 2006, Tarver faced former undisputed world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins for Tarver's The Ring title at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Hopkins, a 3-to-1 underdog, dominated the fight, outboxing Tarver to win a unanimous decision. The fight was scored 118–109 by all three judges. Tarver was knocked down in the 5th round. As a result of a clause in the fight contract, Tarver was forced to pay $250,000 to a charity of Hopkins' choice since he did not knock Hopkins out before the fifth round. Tarver's record would now stand at 24 wins and 4 losses, with 18 wins coming by way of knockout.
Return to the ring
Tarver returned to the ring nearly one year after his loss to Hopkins, defeating Albanian-fighter Elvir Muriqi on June 9, 2007 by way of a majority decision. In his next fight, held at Foxwoods Resort Casino on December 1, 2007, Tarver registered a win over Danny Santiago by way of a 4th round TKO.
Tarver then regained the IBF title by outpointing Clinton Woods.
Tarver vs Dawson I & II
On October 11, 2008, Tarver faced rising star Chad Dawson for Tarver's IBF title. The fight took place at Palms Casino in Las Vegas. Tarver lost the fight via unanimous decision, with wide margins of 118–109 and 117–110 (twice). The outcome was not disputed.
With the loss to Dawson, it was speculated that Tarver may choose to retire; however, he later announced that he and Dawson would meet in a rematch in March 2009.
A rematch with Dawson, originally announced for March 14, 2009, had to be postponed due to an injury suffered by Dawson. Finally, on May 9, the two fighters met at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. Tarver, who came to the fight as a 5:1 underdog, again lost by unanimous decision.
Move up to heavyweight
Following the rematch loss to Dawson, Tarver took over a year off from the ring, before returning on 15 October 2010 to defeat Nagy Aguilera by 10 round unanimous decision in a bout that took place in the heavyweight division. For this fight Tarver officially weighed 221 lbs, some 46 lbs more than he had weighed for the Dawson rematch.
On 20 July 2011, Tarver took on Australian IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in Tarver's debut in the 200 lb cruiserweight division.
Tarver dominated the fight, knocking Green down in the second round and controlling the majority of the action from there on in. After taking heavy punishment and being saved by the bell at the end of round 9, Green failed to come out for the start of round 10, allowing Tarver to take the victory and the title by TKO.
Failed drug test
He reportedly tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid in his pre-fight urine sample prior to his fight with Kayode, with the tests' results only released publicly after the fight.
Tarver starred as heavyweight champion Mason "The Line" Dixon in the 2006 film Rocky Balboa. In the film the current, unpopular, champion Dixon fights former champion Rocky Balboa, who decides to come out of retirement. Dixon wins the match by split decision, and after breaking his hand in the second round of the bout but still managing to stand toe to toe with Rocky for the full 10 rounds, proves to doubters that he has the heart of a champion. The DVD of the movie offers an alternate ending, in which Rocky wins the split decision. Dixon's record before the fight is 33-0 (30 KO). Also on the DVD, the film's writer and director Sylvester Stallone wanted to cast a real boxer in the role of Dixon, as he thought it would be easier to teach a boxer how to act than to teach an actor how to box convincingly. In an August 18, 2010 interview with Stallone on The Howard Stern Show, the director indicated that Tarver refused to film his scene after the MGM had been rented out and filled with people already incurring high costs. In order to get the filming done, Stallone gave Tarver a cut of his own salary and points on the back end which resulted in Stallone making no money on the film.
Commentating with Showtime
After his loss to Dawson and up to his failed drug test in June, 2012, Tarver served as a boxing analyst for Showtime Championship Boxing.
- 1993 and 1995 United States amateur Light Heavyweight champion.
- 1994 National Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight champion
- Won the Light Heavyweight bronze medal for the United States at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. His results were:
- Defeated Dmitry Vybornov (Russia) 5–2
- Defeated David Kowah (Sierra Leone) RSC 1 (2:43)
- Defeated Enrique Flores (Mexico) RSC 3 (1:54)
- Lost to Vassiliy Jirov (Kazakhstan) 9–15
Professional boxing record
|31 Wins (22 KOs), 6 Losses, 1 Draw, 1 No Contest|
|Steve Cunningham||SD||12||2015-08-14||Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey|
|Johnathon Banks||TKO||7 (10),
|2014-12-11||Pechanga Resort and Casino, Temecula, California|
|Mike Sheppard||TKO||4 (10),
|2013-11-26||BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida||Won interim NABA heavyweight title.|
|Lateef Kayode||ND||12||2012-06-02||The Home Depot Center, Carson, California||Originally a split draw; result overturned
after Tarver failed a post-fight drug test.
|Win||29–6||Danny Green||RTD||9 (12),
|2011-07-20||Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales||cruiserweight debut.|
|Win||28–6||Nagy Aguilera||UD||12||2010-10-15||Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma|
|Loss||27–6||Chad Dawson||UD||12||2009-05-09||Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada||For IBF light-heavyweight title.|
|Loss||27–5||Chad Dawson||UD||12||2008-10-11||Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost IBF light-heavyweight title.|
|Win||27–4||Clinton Woods||UD||12||2008-04-12||St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida||Won IBF light-heavyweight title.|
|Win||26–4||Danny Santiago||TKO||4 (12),
|2007-12-01||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|Win||25–4||Elvir Muriqi||MD||12||2007-06-09||Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, Connecticut|
|Loss||24–4||Bernard Hopkins||UD||12||2006-06-10||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Lost The Ring light-heavyweight title.|
|Win||24–3||Roy Jones, Jr.||UD||12||2005-10-01||St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida||Retained The Ring light-heavyweight title.|
|Win||23–3||Glen Johnson||UD||12||2005-06-18||FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee||Won The Ring light-heavyweight title.|
|Loss||22–3||Glen Johnson||SD||12||2004-12-18||Staples Center, Los Angeles, California||Lost The Ring light-heavyweight title.|
|Win||22–2||Roy Jones, Jr.||TKO||2 (12),
|2004-05-15||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won WBC/WBA(Super)/The Ring light-heavyweight titles.|
|Loss||21–2||Roy Jones, Jr.||MD||12||2003-11-08||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost WBC light-heavyweight title.
For WBA(Super)/The Ring light-heavyweight titles.
|Win||21–1||Montell Griffin||UD||12||2003-04-26||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut||Won vacant WBC/IBF light-heavyweight titles.|
|Win||20–1||Eric Harding||TKO||5 (12),
|2002-07-20||Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Win||19–1||Reggie Johnson||SD||12||2002-01-25||Ramada Plaza, Rosemeont, Illinois||Won NABF/USBA light-heavyweight titles.
IBF light-heavyweight eliminator.
|Win||18–1||Chris Johnson||KO||10 (10),
|2001-08-03||Yakama Legends Casino, Toppenish, Washington|
|Win||17–1||Lincoln Carter||TKO||5 (10),
|2001-02-24||Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida|
|Loss||16–1||Eric Harding||UD||12||2000-06-23||Grand Casino Biloxi, Biloxi, Mississippi||IBF light-heavyweight eliminator.|
|Win||16–0||Ernest Mateen||KO||1 (10),
|2000-02-29||Plaza Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||15–0||Mohamed Benguesmia||TKO||9 (10),
|1999-10-02||Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||14–0||Jerry Williams||TKO||5 (10),
|1999-06-12||Shriner's Auditorium, Wilmington, Massachusetts|
|Win||13–0||Roy Francis||TKO||3 (10),
|1999-03-27||Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida|
|Win||12–0||John Williams||KO||4 (12),
|1999-02-05||Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida|
|Win||11–0||Rocky Gannon||TKO||2 (10),
|1998-08-30||Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia|
|Win||10–0||Jose Luis Rivera||RTD||4 (10),
|1998-06-23||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||9–0||Charles Oliver||UD||8||1998-03-24||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi|
|Win||8–0||Boyer Chew||TKO||7 (8),
|1998-01-17||Atlantic City Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||7–0||Roy Francis||TKO||2 (6),
|1997-12-02||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||6–0||Benito Fernandez||TKO||3 (6),
|1997-10-28||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||5–0||Berry Butler||UD||6||1997-10-04||Caesars Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||4–0||Shelby Gross||TKO||1 (4),
|1997-08-12||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||3–0||Tracy Barrios||TKO||3 (6)
|1997-06-21||Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida|
|Win||2–0||Jason Burrell||TKO||3 (4),
|1997-04-29||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||1–0||Joaquin Garcia||TKO||2 (4),
|1997-02-18||Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Professional debut.|
- Tarver settles for bronze
- Jones concedes, will let Tarver enter ring last. Usatoday.Com (2003-11-07). Retrieved on 2012-09-15.
- OFFICIAL RATINGS AS OF JUNE 2004. WORLD BOXING ASSOCIATION (2004-07-03)
- AFP: Tarver stops Green for fifth world title. Google.com (2011-07-20). Retrieved on 2012-09-15.
- Stallone has another hit – The Howard Stern Show. Howardstern.com (2010-08-18). Retrieved on 2012-09-15.
- Antonio Tarver' page at Boxrec. Boxrec.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-15.
Title last held byRoy Jones, Jr.
|WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
April 26, 2003 – November 8, 2003
Roy Jones, Jr.
|IBF Light Heavyweight Champion
April 26, 2003 – November 5, 2003
Title next held byGlen Johnson
Roy Jones, Jr.
|WBA Super Light Heavyweight Champion
May 15, 2004 – July 1, 2004
|WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
May 15, 2004 – November 6, 2004
Title next held byTomas Adamek
|The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion
May 15, 2004 – December 18, 2004
|The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion
June 18, 2005 – June 10, 2006
|IBF Light Heavyweight Champion
April 12, 2008 – October 11, 2008
|Titles in pretence|
|World Light Heavyweight Champion
June 9, 2007 – October 11, 2008