Boxer Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver on the ropes with $750,000 child support debt

Antonio Tarver, Pinellas County Jail photo

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Former world champion boxer Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver is on the ropes. A Hillsborough County magistrate found Tarver in willful contempt of his child support order this week and ordered the champ to hand over the keys to his 2010 ML350 Mercedes to make good on his debt.

“How am I gonna get to work? How am I gonna get to training? How am I gonna provide for myself with no transportation?” Tarver asked.

“Sir, you have to remain calm,” replied Magistrate Mary Lou Cuellar-Stillo.

“How can I remain calm you’re taking my whole life from me? You’re stripping me of everything,” Tarver shot back.

Antonio Tarver's gated community
Antonio Tarver’s gated community

The Mercedes — which Tarver values at around $19,000 — won’t even come close to covering his child support debt for a teenage daughter that now hovers around $750,000. The magistrate also ordered Tarver to hand over his championship Title belts and the Bronze Medal he won boxing in the 1996 Olympics so his ex-girlfriend Toni Rolle can cash in the mementos in lieu of child support.

Tarver insists he’s the victim of a child support system that has worked against him and the best interest of his daughter. “You’re killing me, man, really,” Tarver told the magistrate.

Tarver insists he’s been doing the best he can to catch up to his child support and other debts since his fighting career tanked six years ago due to a PED doping scandal. “Ever since my suspension and my loss of job in 2010, I made no money,” Tarver testified.

That’s not exactly accurate. Tarver also claims, in filings with the court, to make $10,000 an appearance as a fight analyst on Spike TV. Last August he testified to earning $250,000 in a New Jersey prize fight with boxer Steve Cunningham. Despite that purse, Tarver only paid $12,500 to Rolle between then and now and claims he spent all the rest on more pressing needs.

“It went back to paying loans to live, to stay grounded, to keep a roof over my head,” Tarver testified. “I’m borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I don’t have no money.”

He may be cash poor but Tarver now lives in a luxury home inside a gated community in Land O’ Lakes where his listed expenses include pool service, lawn service, cable TV and $350 a month for clothing purchases.

Antonio Tarver's Mercedes
Antonio Tarver’s Mercedes
Antonio Tarver's house
Antonio Tarver’s house

His current financial troubles may not be limited to child support. According to a financial affidavit he filed with the court in December, Tarver hasn’t filed a federal income tax return since 2007. The affidavit states, “Back taxes, interest, and penalties are unknown.” He also owes a fortune due to property foreclosures in recent years.

Tarver claims he operates at a monthly deficit of $8,155 and has a net worth of -$1.8 million.

The magistrate gave Tarver seven days to hand over his Mercedes. He is also supposed to gather up all of his title belts and the Bronze Medal to help pay the “purge” on his mounting child support debt.

None of that sat very well with Tarver who became furious at the end of a two hour hearing Wednesday inside the Hillsborough Courthouse. He stormed out, slamming two doors behind him as he left.

“I don’t even have a vehicle now.” Tarver said as he departed in a huff. “Sure, can’t make no money now. Congratulations.” Magic Man is on the ropes. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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