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Antonio Tarver

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameAntonio Deon•Tarver
Used nameAntonio•Tarver
Nick/petnamesMagic Man
Born21 November 1968 in Orlando, Florida (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsFrontline Boxing Club
NOC(s) United States

Biography

Antonio Tarver starred in amateur boxing in 1995, winning the US Nationals, the Pan American Games, and the World Championships. It brought him to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a gold medal favorite but he lost there in the semi-finals to the Kazakh Vasily Zhirov and settled for a bronze medal.

Shortly after the Olympics, Tarver turned pro and had his first professional fight in February 1997, knocking out Joaquin García in the second round. This was a prelude to an almost 20-year career in which he won light-heavyweight and cruiserweight world titles under multiple organizations, including the WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring magazine titles, in addition to the IBO light heavyweight and cruiserweight titles.

In 2003 and 2004 Tarver fought several well-publicized bouts with former Olympian Roy Jones, Jr., losing the first fight by majority decision for the WBC light-heavyweight belt, but winning the re-match in a second-round knockout, to regain the WBC title and annex the WBA light-heavyweight crown. In 2005, Tarver won the rubber match by unanimous decision.

In 2004-05 Tarver also had two bally-hooed fights against IBF light-heavyweight champion Glen Johnson, although Johnson had been recently stripped of that title. Tarver lost by split decision in December 2004, but came back six months later to avenge that loss.

Tarver’s other big bouts included a loss to Bernard Hopkins in June 2006, and two heavily promoted fights in 2008-09 in which Tarver lost both times to Chad Dawson. Tarver was, by then, in the twilight of his career. Tarver fought through 2011, although he had sporadic absences from the ring in the later 2000s, finishing with a professional record of 31 wins (22 by KO), 6 losses, and 1 draw.

Even while still fighting Tarver starred in the Rocky Balboa movie as Mason “The Line” Dixon. Near the end of his career, he had two controversial episodes of positive drug tests. After retiring Tarver spent some time as a boxing commentator for the US Showtime network on television.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Representing 2nd NOC As
1996 Summer Olympics Boxing Light-Heavyweight, Men Olympic =3 Bronze USA Antonio Tarver

Special Notes